What can be done about drivers who do not run in qualifying?
10th October 2011, 12:09 at 12:09 pm #130253
As we saw in Japan, just six of the ten drivers who qualified in Q3 actually set lap times, with one of them – Kobayashi – doing an outlap (and thus being entitled to start seventh instead of tenth). Pirelli, it seems, are not too happy about this:
They have suggested introducing qualifying tyres (which would do away with the start-on-the-tyres-you-qualified-on rule), but FOTA has rejected it. And I agree that Pirelli’s complaints about this are very valid. A solution needs to be found. The way I see it, the FIA have three options (I’ve arranged them in the order that I think will be most to least popular):
1) Make more sets of tyres available for qualifying. We already know that Pirelli want to adjust the tyre allocations and supply more options; if the teams had four sets of options and had to return one after qualifying, teams would actually be willing to run in Q3.
2) Force the top ten drivers to start on the tyres they set their best time on – whenever they set it. Under the current rules, the board is cleared at the end of each qualifying period, so if a driver does not run in Q3, he can freely choose whichever tyres he started on.
3) Automatic grid penalty for not qualifying. If four drivers do not run in Q3, then the drivers who qualified from 11th to 15th automatically get moved up the grid. If drivers are unwilling to run in Q3, then their top-ten grid spots should be given to drivers who would be willing to set a lap time.
Discuss.10th October 2011, 13:38 at 1:38 pm #180512
I’m not sure about your third point, I think the teams eliminated in Q2 would have also not run in Q3 either. I think your first and second point could both be enforced as rules in qualifying, though I think you second point is the best. Even though it would be unlikely, some teams still may not run in Q3 with your first solution in place.10th October 2011, 14:14 at 2:14 pm #180513
I’m up for a qualifying tyre. The whole point of qualifying is to see who is fastest. Drivers should be able to really go for it and if they did I think it would make qualifying more exciting again.
The ‘start the race using the tyres you qualified on’ is a terrible rule in my opinion.10th October 2011, 14:27 at 2:27 pm #180514
I’ve been thinking about the prime/option switch they’re doing in India.Paul Hembery has been rather vocal about 1 set of the harder prime compound being unused every weekend.
Your tyres for a weekend are 6 prime sets and 5 option sets. Basically; 6 “harder” sets and 5 “softer” sets. Going by Paul Hembery’s comments that the teams leave 1 set of primes unused; every weekend, 5 “harder” sets; and 5 “softer” sets are used.
So with this prime/option convention switch, that means that the usually-unused “harder” set will disappear; but instead the teams will have 1 extra “softer” set. Meaning top teams can still do 2 Q3 runs and have 1 new tyre left. And the lower half of Q3 who usually don’t run; will just run as they have 1 extra set.
I think that’s possibly what Pirelli is doing with this whole thing.10th October 2011, 15:24 at 3:24 pm #180515
One of the problems with the Quali tyre idea is that Pirelli are not talking about bringing extra tyres each w/end. So far the idea is to replace one set of primes, with one set of qualifiers for each car. Pirelli also said the Quali tyres would be good for one lap only, after that they are shot.
At a race where the selected tyres are Med (prime) and Soft (option). And with the Quali tyres 1 sec faster than super softs. Work out where each team will use them, starting with the 3 new teams, and see where it leads.10th October 2011, 15:55 at 3:55 pm #180516
Again, it’s a combination of things that are leading to this phenomenon. The quali-tire rule adopted since last year is one of the obvious impacts. Not setting a time means you get to choose which compound you start on. That frees you up right there in case you don’t wish to start on the faster tire (which has been the weapon of choice since this rule was introduced). If that were the only reason, though, we’d have seen it more last year. So of course, this year’s more quickly degrading Pirellis have made the final push toward making this seem like a smart idea. Not enough fresh softs for the race? Easy enough. Just hold on to them and don’t bother with wasting them in qualifying. BUT, there is still more to the equation. This year, passing opportunities have become far more prolific with the combination of KERS, DRS and the bigger gap in times between tire compounds. This means starting from a lower position is no longer as huge of an issue. If you can make the passes work, there’s little reason to give yourself 8 fewer meters to the starting line since your pace throughout will make up for it over the full distance.
This is why we’ve been seeing this phenomenon -especially so on tracks where the tires are going off quickly. It makes more sense in the long run to hold on to the faster compound rather than waste a set in qualifying where you garner little advantage. F1 has always been about weighing options and stats to see how to best play your strategy. We talk about pace and speed, but the truth is when it all comes down to it, strategy is king. You can have a lightening quick car, but it can easily be wasted without knowing how to maximize what it can do because every one of your competitors are doing the same. And with lap times being separated by tenths and in some cases hundredths of a second, those fractional gains from strategy DO make a difference over 50-70 laps.10th October 2011, 16:12 at 4:12 pm #180517
Bring back qualifying tyres or at the very least get rid of the silly “start on the same set of tyres you qualify on” rule and have more tyres available.
I’m really glad you started this topic PM. I hated qualifying at Suzuka because I thought Q3 was ridiculous. We don’t tune into F1 to watch half the Q3 runners sit out what’s meant to be their most important session.10th October 2011, 17:33 at 5:33 pm #180518
I think everyone’s concentrating too much on the tyres when complaining about the lack of action in Q3.
There’s a much simpler and fundamental reason why qualifying is boring:
In Q1, you know exactly which 6 cars are going to be at the back (and the order they’ll be in most of the time). The only question is which midtable runner will drop out. So that’s boring.
In Q3, you know which 6 cars are going to be at the front of the grid, and who will be on pole. The only question is how the inter-team rivalries will play out in Ferrari and McLaren (ok, mostly just McLaren.)
The performance difference is so fundamental that there is no advantage whatsoever in drivers 7-10 setting a time, and being forced to use a specific set of tyres. On pace, they are probably equal ranking with the guys on slots 11-14, who all have tyre choice.
Get the midfielders, frontrunners, and backmarkers closer in baseline performance, and you won’t have so many boring qualifying sessions. And anyway, what’s worse: boring qualifying, or boring racing?10th October 2011, 18:39 at 6:39 pm #180519
You know what? I think there is no need to do anything. So what if a few cars do not drive in Q3. With Schumacher maybe being the decisive exception, no casual fan really cares about those who do not drive, so changing the rules would not appeal to those fans and the crowd deeper into motorsports will watch anyhow. Therefore, there is really no need to meddle with the qualifying rules again.10th October 2011, 22:46 at 10:46 pm #180520
1) Get rid of the Top 10 rule (or enforce it right down the field instead)
2) Penalties for anyone who doesn’t do a lap to save tyres, say 5-place grid drop.
3) Simples *meerkat noise*11th October 2011, 9:09 at 9:09 am #180521
To follow on from Hairs post. All drivers to start on the tyres used for best lap in qualifying. Then increase the number knocked out in Q1 to say 10 drivers. This will increase competion for the mid-field to do better. Then six (8 if field increased to max of 26 cars) out in Q2, which then gets mid-field really fight to get into Q3.11th October 2011, 10:43 at 10:43 am #180522
Yes, Steph, we also don”t pay bucket loads of cash to go to the track on a three day ticket and see half the field run in q3. What a rip off. Its all about tactics and that’s fair enough but this is supposed to be entertainment and next time around I’ll just go for the one day ticket instead of the full enchillada.11th October 2011, 14:04 at 2:04 pm #180523
I don’t know what problem is, it’s not as if we were sat there for 3/4 of an hour waiting for something to happen as we often were back in the ‘glory’ days! There was a quiet 2 or 3 minutes out of 10 and everybody is throwing their hands in the air as if it was a disaster! I remember sitting trough pretty much entire sessions with absolutely NO running!
Ultimately it was only the 2 Renaults and Kamui who did not attempt to set a time, and even they did some running although didn’t complete a full lap and Schumacher was denied a fast lap by Lewis ‘the clutz’ Hamliton titting around instead of getting on with it!!
I also don’t see the need to re-introduce Qualifying tyres, it is just an unnecessary waste of time money and materials for all involved with no appreciable benefit. If the teams aren’t using the extra set of hards, get rid of them, there is no need to swap to an extra set of the softer compound, the teams don’t exactly need them now so why volunteer them!
Penalise non runners in Q3 if you must do something but the format works as it is, lets stop fiddling with it!11th October 2011, 16:49 at 4:49 pm #180524
@icthyes, the problem with handing out penalties for not doing a lap is what do you do with cases where cars run in to technical problems? Or if they’re given an exempt for them, do we then see teams faking technical problems (don’t put it past them to skirt rules like that).11th October 2011, 20:09 at 8:09 pm #180525
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