Ayrton Senna, McLaren, 1991

Is it time to bring back qualifying tyres?

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ayrton Senna, McLaren, 1991
Ayrton Senna set pole eight times in 1991, the last year with qualifying tyres

During the last race weekend, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery revealed they were talking to teams about bringing back qualifiyng tyres.

The one-lap specials, super-sticky rubber designed for use in qualifying, haven’t been seen since Pirelli’s last appearance in F1 two decades ago.

Is now the time to bring them back? Or are the practical problems of having qualifying tyres too great to overcome?


There’s a lot to like about Pirelli’s plan to reintroduce qualifying tyres in F1.

They would give drivers a burst of extra performance in qualifying – in the knowledge that a single mistake could cost them several places on the grid.

We saw some terrific upsets and fascinating races thanks to qualifying tyres in the past. Remember Pierluigi Martini putting his Minardi on the front row of the grid for the 1990 United States Grand Prix?

Nigel Mansell’s thrilling and improbable victory from 12th on the grid at the Hungaroring in 1989 was born from his difficulties getting the most out of the qualifying tyres and focussing on his race set-up instead.

There’s potentially an added bonus: the rule forcing the top ten drivers to start the race on the tyres they qualified on would have to be scrapped. This has proved a worthless and unnecessary rule, and F1 would be better off without it.


Hembery indicated he would like to make the tyres available for all three stages of qualifying without increasing the number of tyres it brings to a race weekend. This is not going to be easy to achieve, and could compromise the amount of running done throughout the rest of a race weekend.

For example, teams only have three sets of tyres for three hours of running on Friday, and it’s hard to see how that could be reduced.

There may be scope to reduce the number of harder tyres provided for races but there’s precious little wiggle room in this area of the rules.

Qualifying tyres are associated with some bad memories, notably Gilles Villeneuve’s fatal accident in 1982 as reader Ted Bell argued in a recent Comment of the Day.

I say

Stefano Modena, Brabham, 1990
Stefano Modena drives with a fresh set of sticky Pirellis in 1990

Qualifying tyres means spectacular flying laps, greater variation in qualifying performances and a tougher challenge for the drivers. All of that sounds very appealing.

I also like the idea suggested by a fan and taken up by Hembery to colour the tyres purple to match the fastest sectors on the timing screens.

I do not believe they would make qualifying any more dangerous than it is at present.

We already have circumstances where faster cars catch slower ones in qualifying, but advances in radio technology mean both drivers are more likely to be aware of the situation. Almost three decades have passed since Villeneuve’s tragic accident and car and track safety has moved on enormously in that time.

But a lot of thought needs to be put into how qualifying tyres would work within the current framework and tyre restrictions. Would it turn Q3 into eight minutes of tedium followed by two minutes of action in which we can only see one complete lap?

You say

Do you want to see qualifying tyres back in F1? Cast your vote and have your say below.

Should qualifying tyres be reintroduced in F1?

  • Yes (71%)
  • No (22%)
  • No opinion (7%)

Total Voters: 281

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Images ?? Honda, Pirelli

134 comments on “Is it time to bring back qualifying tyres?”

  1. That would be great to have qualifying tyres back.
    I wouldn’t like if they compromised the number of tyres for the teams, just give each team four Q tyres for each weekend and let them go crazy with them.
    That would result in some seriously spectacular qualifying laps. I would love to see that.
    Maybe to reduce the number of tyres used they could run Q1 on race tyres, then the cars that dropped out let them go out again on one set of Q tyres and that would then decide the order they start in. Same for Q2 and Q3. That would be really challenging for the drivers, but could be a little too complicated.

    1. This is what I don’t get ‘seriously spectacular qualifying laps’.

      99.9% of people can’t tell the difference without timing screens of a lap in the middle of the race and a lap near the end of the race. The difference is about a second or so and you can’t tell by lookingat it. The driver is trying to drive on the edge of whatever grip he has.

      Let’s put it this way…. would you rather watch Senna’s 1988 pole lap of Monaco where he beat Prost by a second… OR Kovalianen’s 2010 lap where he finsihed 6 seconds faster

      Both driver beat their teammates, Kova’s lap was faster yet people would prefer to watch Senna’s despite the extra performance the car gave in Kovalianen.

      I’m against it as I see no point. Reduce the tyres for teh weekend BAD, change the whole setup of the quali’s as now we would have ton see all the fast cars going out on quali tyres in Q1, only get 1 lap per session for each car….

      If I go to a GP, I want to see Hamilton, Alonso and co do several laps, not just 3 for the whole of quali. Currently they do 15 or so, much better.

      ANOTHER EXAMPLE Would you perfer to see Hamiltons lap in the drying wet track at Spa in 2010 or during a dry lap? Going by the ‘spectacular’ comment the dry would be way better because of the extra grip, yet I would prefer the wet.

      1. I agree. There would be nothing spectacular in that lap.

      2. If, it stops the one qualifying run and people getting out of the car with 8 minutes of the session then I’m all for it.
        In the past anyone could clearly see the difference between the Qualifying tyres and race tyres, the car just behaves differently, it not anything to do with whether the lap is a second or so faster.

        The main advantage is that you get a slightly jumbled up grid as qualifying pace vs race pace can very different (OK we’ve had that this year because of the characteristics of this years cars but its not normally the case), the order is still decided by skill, not anything ridiculous like reverse grids, but you have more opportunity for race days overtakes as certain car / driver / tyre combinations work better on race day.

        1. The whole idea behind Qualifying is deciding the grid position for the race (correct me if I’m wrong). So I personally believe that one must qualify with the same car and set-up as for the race. Going by principle it isn’t fair to optimize set-up exclusively for qualifying.

          Qualifying doesn’t give you points, it only qualifies you to participate in the race, so using a special set-up is, I feel, a manipulation of what qualifying is all about. Changing set-up between qualifying and race (I know teams already do that) is almost like qualifying with one car and racing with another (in my view). Going by principle I wouldn’t support qualifying tyres.

          BUT, throwing the principle out the window there is a massive possibility of greater excitement and overtaking in the races if the championship leading teams fail to optimize their set-up for the qualifying tyres and line up way down the grid order.

          In principle I just can’t support such gimmicky arrangements, but if this will stop one driver and team from getting pole position day in and day out, then I’ll probably support it.

      3. “This is what I don’t get ‘seriously spectacular qualifying laps’.”

        Spectacular doesn’t neccesarily mean cars drifting or crashing. Not in F1 at least.

        Spectacular is also in the relative times. It thought it was “spectacular” when Senna would drop the laptimes by a full second or more.

        Still even “spectacular” as in going off track or drifting is far less likely in the current regime. If the driver damages his tyres then he’s “in a bad place”.

        1. To me this is just more talk of more ‘gadgets’…quali tires represents to me yet more artificial jigging to try to upset the usual order of things, like BE’s sprinkler idea, when in fact I think they should just simplify, reduce aero dependancy, and stabilize the rules in order to bring the field closer and put the racing in the hands of the drivers, not the gadgets.

          To me, unusually quick quali laps mean nothing when it is just because they have been given special tires…ie. there’s nothing that shows the talent of the driver when it is because he had special tires. I would rather see apples to apples quali and racing and would like quali to be an indication of how it is going for each driver on the weekend, even though there are differences as it is.

          So to me the answer is no, it is not time to bring back qualifying tires, it is time for stability and simplification and putting it in the hands of the driver, not the luck of the draw as to what tires when, or DRS when, or KERS when…

          1. Exactly. stop the nonsense.

            Qualifying trim should be race trim.

          2. A qualifying tyre is not a “gadget”. it is simply a very soft compound that gives the maximum grip but lasts for only a single flying lap before it wears out. given enough resources, and during a tyre war, every tyre manufacturer would have something like a qualifying tyre. Otherwise they would not be competitive in qualifying. It is a completely logical piece of technology and is as close as you will get to pure racing. So your comparison of a “gadget” and to the sprinkler system makes absolutely no sense to me.

            In a perfect world, we would not have to worry about the amount of tyres sent to each race and limit the teams as to which tyres they have to hand back and a rule saying they have to use both tyre compounds etc. We would just let them work with a tyre supplier of their choosing to develop tyres that suit their car best (Like Ferrari and bridgestone back in the day). You could use your “qualifying” tyres in the race if you wanted to. Basically pure racing.

            Of course this would be very expensive and less environmentally friendly. So the FIA need to resort creative rulemaking to artificially “spice up the racing”. It all comes down to money and PR at the end.

            I still think that it is a shame that the FIA didnt manage to enforce the budget cap. Basically here is your limit, build whatever you want. You would open up the rules and let the engineers be creative and innovative. The sport would be much simpler to the fans as they wouldnt have to list through an encyclopedia of rules to understand what is happening, and it we would have a larger variation between the different cars. You would be able to tell which car is which even without the livery. Plus it would make it easier for smaller teams to eneter f1 and be competitive.

            Unfortunately the big teams dont want to go through with this because they would not be able to spend their way out of trouble and they wouldnt want to fire half of their staff. So as a result we need the rules to be constantly changed to keep the costs down and to prevent the cars form being too fast and unsafe. If this continues we will eventualy end up with a “GP1” where all cars are basically identical with the only thing separating them being the setup and the driver. I think the simpler and more appealing solution (and more true to what F1 started out as) would be the budget cap and total freedom.

          3. Agree with Robbie fully. I never supported the idea of having more degrading tyres at all, because it goes against the very principle of what Formula 1 is. So this sualifying tyre business is a definite no-no. I don’t understand where all these gimmicky stuff if leading to. We’re just driving around in circles.

            All this could have been avoided if multiple tyre manufacturers were allowed with limited testing. It is what F1 is all about – technical perfection and competition. Not purposely creating tyres that degrade faster and introduce artificial scenarios as qualifying tyres to spice up the action. At this rate Bernie’s artificial rain concept wouldn’t sound too bad!

            We keep saying F1 is the “ultimate, purest form of racing” and all that crap and we go back to introducing such childish video-gamish arrangements. As Luca di Montezemolo said, F1 needs to reduce the influence of aerodynamics. Simplifying this aspect can restore F1 to the pure exciting competition it once was.

            That said, till aerodynamic simplification takes place in F1 we may need such absurd arrangements to spice up the action and add more unpredictability.

          4. I agree with Robbie
            Quali tires are just more gimmickery, artificiations to change the show.

            I do not, however agree with Parc Ferme rules. While I understand the point that the car which is qualified is the car that should be raced, I dont really understand why there is any special advantange

            If everyone can change settings, then there is not advantage to anyone. Sure, limit any special quali parts, but I feel jumbled results due to rain are kinda stupid. It makes no sense, indeed, is unsafe to force a driver to deal a dry setup on a wet track.

            Whats the advantage if its the same for everyone?

        2. I see were your coming from Patrick and I agree with that I think but not your analogies.

          It was spectacular to see Senna wipe 1 second off of Prost’s time.

          Whether he drives an F1 car, a WRC car or a V8 Supercar dropping the lap time by 1 second is spectacular, and I don’t see how quali tyres will do that any better.

          If the quali tyres are 1 second faster, then eveyrone is 1 second faster and I don’t see what is so spectacular about going 1 second a lap faster if EVERYONE does it. What makes it spectacular is if someone does an extra 1 second that no one else can.

          I agree that it is relative and that is my point. If the tyres are better for everyone then a better lap relatively speaking is a better lap relatively speaking regardless of the tyres it is done on.

          1. vjanik…without a tire war or unlimited budgets the ‘qualifying’ tires they use now ARE competitive. You contend that all it would take for pure racing is a one-lap tire, all the while we have DRS and KERS…is that pure racing? Not to me. And a one-lap quali tire used in quali is not racing…the racing takes place on Sunday.

            Also, changing the rules constantly does not keep costs down…it elevates the costs as teams constantly need to go back to the drawing board to adapt to said rule changes…it is stability in the rules that keeps costs down.

      4. Senna’s lap was spectacular because it was so much faster then anyone else. And it was on special qualifying tyres as well, as far as i remember.
        I think the laps will be spectacular because the drivers can go much quicker. The speed will be incredible and i think that will be amazing.
        I don’t see why wet vs dry has anything to do with it, the weather is still going to change.

        And the drivers will have to adapt to a different set of tyres very quickly. These days they run the soft compound in practice so they know how they work on that track with that setup.
        If they are only allowed to run the qualifying tyre in qualifying they will be jumping head first into the unknown at speeds we can’t even imagine and i think that would be very challenging for the drivers and really highlight their skill.

        “If I go to a GP, I want to see Hamilton, Alonso and co do several laps, not just 3 for the whole of quali. Currently they do 15 or so, much better.” That is right that it would limit the running in qualifying but right now it is limited a lot anyway. At least the Q-tyres will force anyone to do a lap, because there would be no need to save them for the race. There would be no strategy, just going flat out. In my book that is what qualifying should be all about.

  2. I wonder. Would these not pose problems for cars that bring these tyres up to temperature fast? Paul Hembery was saying on Twitter that these would be 2s faster than the supersofts. Sounds like they’d overheat very easy

    1. That is true, however they are only meant to last for one lap. So if they burn out after a driver finishes his lap, it doesn’t matter. The time is in the bank, and they can choose to start on whatever tyre they want in the race. The rule meaning the driver has to start on the same tyre he qualifyed on would cease to exist with the re-introduction of a qualifying tyre.

      1. I’m not talking about burning them up, but tyre temperature. Seeing as these will be ultrasoft tyres, they will heat up. And fast. We could see a problem that they could heat up too much. We always hear about getting tyres up to temperature, but in reality, these tyres have a narrow window in which to operate. If too cold, you have no grip. If too hot, you have no grip either.

        You would bloat the tyres up as pressures inside would balloon due to the heat buildup, and that would make you a LOT slower.

  3. In my opinion quali tyres will give something extra to Saturdays. But now I think that it is time to have a major shakedown to the tyre rules.

    Last year and in current season due to the absence of refulling we saw very little variations in strategy. If there were 3 different tyres for saturday and sunday(2 sets for each tyre), and no rule about which tyre a driver could use I think that we could see for sure more interesting racing.

    1. Last year and in current season due to the absence of refuelling we saw very little variations in strategy

      That may have been so last year (though it did not produce worse racing than when we had with refuelling) and is certainly not the case this year.

      1. I did not mention racing. Racing in F1 was never better. But I miss a win from 11th or 12th or even 20th (like Watson) with a great strategy. When was last time something like this happend without changeable conditions?

        And Webber did came 3rd in China from 18th but that was due to a great car and 3 new sets of soft tyres. Not his strategy (even though he did choose to start in the hard tyre).

        I think that pirelli will give more durable tyres for next year(they should have 4 tons of data by now) so why we shouldn’t have 3 different compounds and every driver would choose which tyre could give him the best strategy. Variety is the point I am making.

        But anyway, the quali tyre is the the way that Bernie would choose. So go for it.

        1. I miss a win from 11th or 12th or even 20th (like Watson) with a great strategy.

          Well, as I said in the article…

          Nigel Mansell’s thrilling and improbable victory from 12th on the grid at the Hungaroring in 1989 was born from his difficulties getting the most out of the qualifying tyres and focussing on his race set-up instead.

          1. We’ve seen a win from the back of the pack already this year, though not from a low qualifier (BUT, Canada). Just as improbable as Mansell in 1989, it could be argued.

            To me we already have qualifying tyres, in that sets of tyres are limited, forcing teams to strategize usage for the entire weekend, and the softer tyre is usually only good for one or two laps in qualifying. So the Q3 single lap or two attempts at a single lap is already the rule. Not much to be gained in excitement from watching back markers attempt to make Q2 or avoid the 107% rule with some super sticky tyres. So I say, just drop the requirement to start the race on quali tyres and we’re all set.

  4. I’ve said this before, but it’s an argument that I like:

    Qualifying is so different from racing that it’s almost a sport in itself. Racing is all about managing fuel and tyres, about pressuring rivals into a mistake, about executing passes the moment you have an opportunity and pulling off the perfect pit stop.

    Qualifying, on the other hand, is all about one-lap pace – it’s about hitting every apex, about balancing the throttle and the brake exactly, and all in the name of pursuring the perfect lap. The car itself is in a completely different condition (low fuel, fresh tyres, etc.) compared to what it will be in the race. So why not have qualifying tyres, which would allow drivers to do this even more than they currently do?

    1. Put that way, it makes qualifying into the saturday pole challenge time trial.

      I like that. But I am not sure about this proposal of bringing Q tyres being the greatest way to bring it about.

      1. Why not? They’re purpose-built for qualifying, and compliment everything that makes qualifying so distinct from the actual racing. And it’s not like drivers would have to choose between qualifying tyres, the primes or the options. Everyone would have the same tyres, and the same opportunity to use them. Especially if everyone ony gets one set per qulaifying period, so there’s maximum pressure to deliver.

        Plus, qualifying tyres would remove the rule that sees drivers start on the tyres they qualified with. This would allow drivers to start on whatever tyre they like and run any strategy from the start. When was the last time we saw someone in the top ten start the race on tyres other than whatever everyone else is using? Say we’ve got two Red Bulls and two McLarens in the top four places on the grid, and one of them – let’s say Jenson Button – started on the primes when everyone else used the options. It would give the teams one more factor to work around, and would therefore make the racing more unpredicatble.

        1. I like the good things, but I am not too sure about having only one set per period, they might as well shorten Q3 to 6 minutes right away.
          And it would mean a really big difference to available sets of tyres for the race, as Pirelli mentioned, they plan not to bring more tyres then they currently do, so you would have to choose.

          As I wrote, Yes I like cars going full out in qualifying, but is this the best way to do it? Not sure.

          1. I like cars going full out in qualifying, but is this the best way to do it?

            Why wouldn’t it be? Qualifying tyres were used so that cars could go faster when they were used in the 1980s. They’d be used for exactly the same purpose here. Hell, the current tyre regulations have one compound that is faster than the other, so it’s not like Pirelli would be doing anything different to what they’re already doing.

          2. I was just about to post the same thing that PM did here. On some tracks the difference in qualifying has been about a second between tyre compounds. That is not that far off where I would expect the gap to be so I don’t think it is very different to what we have now. Now bring on those turbos and give me qualifying boost and I’ll be a very happy chappy :)

        2. If qualifying is so distinct from actual racing, why even have it?

          Might as well just have a random grid at each race.

          The people for qualifying tyres seem to think it is a show, while the people against realize it is just meant to determine grid order…not provide entertainment.

          1. “The people for qualifying tyres seem to think it is a show, while the people against realize it is just meant to determine grid order…not provide entertainment.” Are you kidding? That is entertainment! It has its purpose, but the race is also just there to determine who gets the most laps done the quickest, so lets just forget about that and stop trying to make it more challenging, it isn’t entertainment anyway.
            Lets go and watch a demolition derby that is entertainment! Oh wait no that is to determine who is the best at keeping his car alive the longest.

    2. To me qualifying shouldn’t be almost a sport in itself…it should very much relate to the race on Sunday.

      Qualifying (not just racing) is also about managing tires, and about pressuring rivals into a mistake via the stopwatch…go quicker than everyone else, and everyone else very quickly has to up their game…immediately…not over the next stint. And I don’t want to see that happen just because of special tires, rather a special lap by the driver. And right now the car itself is in not so completely different conditions in quali than the race…the top ten pretty much just have their tanks topped up and away they go…why make the difference greater?

      Racing (not just qualifying) is also about perfect laps and about dealing with fresh tires as well as not so fresh ones. Passes during the race using DRS haven’t gotten rave revues…why add to the artificial aspect of the weekend with more gadgets in the name of special quali tires?

      1. I understand where you are coming from however I don’t believe that the tyre performance and a special lap by the driver are mutually exclusive. I love qualifying tyres they make quali even more exciting and are just a tool to help the cars reach their maximum potential. All the aero, all the suspension, virtually everything on the car is designed around getting the most out of the tyres. It is about the 4 black corners and how they interact with the surface of the track. All quali tyres achieve is raising the ultimate grip level of the cars to extract a better lap time.

    3. If qualifying is almost a sport in itself, perhaps a couple of points should be given for pole if quali tyres are reintroduced. I’m not sure I’d have any misgiving about that. If anything, it would complement the use of quali tyres as it would support the notion that qualifying is a separate, spectacular affair.

      I decided to sit on the fence for the vote. I started off against the idea- I just couldn’t see the point. But now I do kinda like the idea, I’m just not sure how much I care, and believe the difficulties in implementation could be a problem. The quali format would have to change to avoid long periods of nothing. The amount of tyres would have to increase (not that this matters- the affect of one more truck transporting tyres is minimal if the current restrictions are in the name of savings) to allow teams maybe 2 runs per Q session (if they keep the same format) and some for practice.

      1. Actually my biggest worry is that it will spread out the field more. Red Bull are beginning to be troubled in quali (for example) and other teams are regularly separating them. But as Red Bull have clearly the best car for qualifying, wouldn’t and introduction of quali tyres see them extending the gap to the next cars and making it difficult to challenge even the slower of the Red Bulls? I’m just worried that if Red Bull maintain their advantage, then next season with quali tyres could see them 1-2 on the grid at virtually every race.

        1. I guess it could go either way…I think the thinking here is that with special tires there could be some upsets in the ‘normal’ order of things, with a surprise lap from someone who on a more apples to apples comparison would not place as high up. Like on a changeable conditions day. But as you point out, it could just mean a top team would blow the field away…guess it depends on who sets the car up best for these special tires.

          I still can’t think of this as anything but just more gadgets to convolute things…I don’t want to see a fast lap just because of the tires, just as I don’t want to see a pass just because of DRS.

          And so what if a lesser car qualified high due to tires…there he sits on Sunday like a sitting duck on more apples to apples circumstances anyway, so we get to see him DRS’d to death in a few laps and all things end up as they should be anyway…

          I go back to my default position…keep mechanical grip coming, reduce aero dependancy, simplify, reduce costs, stabilize the rules, and we’ll have plenty of actual apples to apples racing, with passing being achieved by driver vs. driver and the seat of their pants, not the luck of the draw of whose gadget was working best at some particular time.

  5. I don’t think they’re needed, really. Especially if it means reducing the amount of race tyres the teams have access to over the weekend. It’ll mean even less free practise running on Fridays and Saturday mornings, and we all know that’s the only time the teams get to test anything new outside of wind tunnel and simulator time.

    The super softs are fast enough, just bring an extra set of those per driver along to each race if need be, so they can really thrash a set of them in qualifying. It’ll give the top 10 a chance to really use the tyres, and it’ll give the lower teams an extra set to help boost the possibility of seeing them higher up the grid.

    As for the rule regarding the top 10 starting on the tyres they finished qualifying on, yes, having qualifying tyres would get rid of that. But not having qualifying tyres and simply saying “Hey, you know that rule where the top 10 have to start on the tyres they finished qualifying on? Yeah… thats a stupid rule, let’s scrap that” would too.

    Having said allllll of that, any plan to introduce more purple into F1 has my vote. They’d look good on the Simteks, if nothing else. Oh for it to be 1995 again…

    1. Yes, I like the Idea of it and Purple would be great.

      But I feel all the points you mentioned show how it there are a lot simpler ways to achieve the set goal. I guess this being F1, it can just never be done simple.

    2. A money-saving top tip then – just have an extra set of super-softs for the top 10, but with purple markings on. Save the cost of developing a new kind of tyre. But Pirelli will have to open a tin of purple paint.

      8 minutes of tedium? Better than 45 minutes like we used to have! And it’ll be 8 minutes of anticipation…

  6. I wonder if this will hurt some of the more aggressive do or die drivers like Lewis. One lockup early on and it would compromise the rest of the lap for him. I can’t wait to see these tyres in Monaco quali though :D

    1. IF anything it would help people like LH, he’d just ring there necks (boots)….
      and he wouldn’t have to worry about doing the 1st 10 – 15 laps of the race on them.
      At the moment if you flat spot it can compromise your 1st stint, I’d see this as a gain over the present situation if you make a mistake such as the one mentioned.

      1. Not quite accurate. If for example, in Melbourne, Lewis flatspots his front right in Turn 3, as is customary, then for the rest of the lap he will be compromised by that tyre.

    2. One lockup early and there might be enough life in the tyres to coast the rest of the lap and them attempt another.

      1. With the way these tyres are meant to be 2s faster, 1 single lockup will mean the locked-up tyre will be finished badly. There won’t even be enough tyre life to complete the lap pushing, let alone do a complete lap

  7. A yes from me but i don’t want to see the teams running less in practice to save tyres for the race. The way i see it, it isn’t worth sacrificing 3 sets of of tyres that can be used in quali and then again in the race for 3 sets that can only be used once in quali. A bit contradictory but oh well :P

    I’m sure Pirelli can work something out, even if its just 2 sets of quali tyres at the cost of one set of prime and options (or even 2 primes). That would make some interesting strategies for qualifying; the backmarkers and midfield using their 2 sets in Q1 and Q2 and the front runners either saving them all for Q3 or using one set in Q2 and Q3 respectively.

    1. i don’t want to see the teams running less in practice to save tyres for the race

      Why not? It would mean they run a compromised setup. Which would mean there’s a greater chance for an unexpected result in qualifying and the race.

      1. A purely selfish reason of course :) haha
        I guess I just like to see the drivers out on the track rather then in the garage trying to save tyres for the race. The way the tyre rules are now, how they have to give a few sets back between practice, is there to encourage the teams to take to the track on friday, and these new quali tyres have the probability to hamper that, which is my only concern with them.

      2. But then that defeats the whole point of it. Qualifying tyres are proposed to well and truly show who is quickest on a one-lap pace, but if some cars are set up for a race, and others more towards quali, it’s still not a compromise.

        There’s no actual reason why they should bring back qualifying tyres. It goes against Formula 1’s ever-growing green image and it will not show who’s quickest on a one-lap sprint.

  8. As mentioned in the article, the reality is cars would presumably sit in the garage most of the session to save their tyres. Surely the priority now is to remedy the problem of inactivity in qualifying- a move to qualifying tires would only worsen it.

    However, if the rule makers can think of a way to solve this problem, I’d give qualifying tyres a cautious thumbs up. I remain to be convinced there is a solution though

    1. I guess to make sure you have some track action for the entire hour they could introduce one-at-a-time qualifying a-la NASCAR. A lot of the teams and media have been saying that track evolution is not as prominent with the new Pirelli compounds so the last one to qualify wouldn’t get THAT great of an advantage. Perhaps they qualify in the same order as the finishing order of the previous race? Winner going last?

      I don’t like the idea myself, just thought of it as a solution to the no track time dilemma. They should probably just leave well enough alone.

      I also tweeted Paul Hembery and mentioned that one of the other consequences would be that it would be more likely for the back of the grid to be knocked out with 107% rule as they wouldn’t have the current advantage of running the softest tyre in Q1

  9. As an older fan, I’d love to see qualifying tires back. An F1 car from 1989-1991 on a full-beans qualifying run, looked so spectacular and would often set times, that would be respectable on today’s F1 grid.
    You can really see the increase in pure performance, when those tyres were used.
    More important than qualifying tyres though, is the point made about scrapping the rule where you have to start the race on the tyres you set your fastest qualifying time on.
    As pointed out, this rule has only served to lessen the strategy options(Start on primes, when the fuel load is largest, then get on the options later, with a lighter car(Webber in China, for example), for maximum benefit.

  10. If qualifying tires were of a special compound, and supplied in lieu of a certain number of race tires, I don’t see it working out very well. I also don’t like the idea of super-sticky, one lap specials. My thought is that Perelli could simply provide an extra set or two of the softest race compound for qualifying only. This would, hopefully, serve the purpose of keeping cars on track during the qualy sessions, which is really the only problem with the current system. Any unused sets could be re-distributed as part of the normal race tire allotment.

  11. Pirelli haven’t though through their wish cull race tyres for qualifying tyres, so they don’t have to bring any extra amounts to a race.

    If we assume one set of qualifying tyres per qualifying session, that will only leave three sets of tyres for the race! That’s before we bear in mind they’ll have practice mileage on them too, as the teams only get one free set of tyres per compound on Friday, which they then have to hand back.

    Of course, not every car will go through all qualifying sessions and so in theory Pirelli need only bring enough qualifying sets for all the cars that do (24+17+10 instead of 24×3) and if you’re knocked out in Q2 or Q1 you get to keep an extra set or two of race tyres, which gives them a small advantage. However, I’m not sure I like the idea of rewarding teams who qualify worse! We’ve already seen with the Top Ten Rule that just missing out can be better than just getting through a qualifying session.

    And of course, one run per qualifying session would be boring. So what I say is keep everything as it is but just have qualifying tyres for Q3. I know two sets for every car is 80 extra tyres for Pirelli, but it just wouldn’t work to have qualifying tyres but bring the same amount of tyres overall – not unless we go back to Bridgestone levels of durability…

    1. When first heard of this idea, I thought about doing exactly the same as you propose. Bring them for Q3, so everyone will have a go (I would like to see them good for up to 2 laps depending on driver/car) in that session.
      And it would enable cars to have alterante strategy for the race start, so someone who is worried about tyres can start on the harder ones, if wished.

  12. If there is to be a 2 sec step to the quali’s then all driverss would need to use them in Q1, especially on w/ends where the tyres brought for the race are soft and mediums, which would be a three second step.

    Question has any body really thought this through or do we not know all of the proposal?

    At the moment, with present knowledge, I have to say NO.

    1. Maybe Pirelli would bring only one set? So the backmarkers have a slightly better change of getting through, but then are left with no fast tyre for Q2.

      And the rest will use them in Q2, leaving us with drivers on regular softer tyres for Q3? Hm, the more I think about it, the more I feel really reluctant to support this.

      1. If they only brought one set per driver then the back markers would use them in Q1, they would then be in front of the mid field, so they would use them, then of course they would be in front of the front runners so they would have to use them to be certain of progressing.

        Ugh that wouldn’t work would it.

        1. I came to more or less the same conclusion there, yeah.

  13. There are always pros and cons. Some questions:

    – How many tires will be allowed per weekend?
    – Will there be ruled usage, as in: at least two out of the available four sets?
    – Their working temperature: some teams will have advantage over others
    – How different will they be (the Q tires) and would that pose a major change in car setup?
    – Will those tires remove the need of the stupid rule of “start with the same type of tires as in Q” – Hopefully yes. This should bring more flexible strategies.

  14. Not sure how quali tyres would work without a change of how the whole quali session works. For them to make any sense there would have be an extremely limited number of sets available to each driver, preferably only one. But in that instance the lower teams would use them up in Q1 which would have a knock on effect resulting in the whole grid having to use them. If they had one set available for each part of quali then it wouldn’t really be much different from what happens at the moment. So then you’d maybe look into going back to one big quali session but if there was only one set of quali tyres then everyone would just go out at the end like they used to. So you’d probably look at either the other old system of one flying lap for each driver. Or perhaps sticking with one communal session but with a reduced length. That then begins to raise questions about the whole structure of a GP weekend and whether it really needs to be 3 days. As a TV fan, 2 days would be quite good, but as a race going fan (assuming ticket prices would not change as there’s not really much difference between a weekend and race day ticket at the moment anyway) then it would seem a bit of a swindle.

  15. I like the idea, but with some modifications:

    Pirelli should only provide qualifying tyres to Q3 runners, so as to ensure that the guy in 11th doesn’t have an advantage over the guy in 10th. Since you’re just providing tyres to 10 cars instead of 24, you can now provide 2 sets of quali tyres to each car (and still save on costs compared to supplying the whole grid with it). And you’d get 10 great minutes of action!

  16. I reckon its a lot of hassle, teams will have to get like 6-8 sets of quali tyres per driver, to evaluate them during friday and find propa setting, so that at least 1-2? if quali tyres are gonna last 1 lap the teams can do really much to understad compound. secondly for quali themselves, Q1 1-2sets, Q2 same, Q3 the same. even if only Q3 is gonna to be run on those supreme tyres, then what? you gonna give them to drivers after Q2 or you gonna quess who is going 2 b in q3? or plenty sets will be delivered to teams for quali, used in q3 and rest will go to scrap after that? such a soft compound is very fragile and will lose their preperties before next GP weekend. lots of costs, lots of hassle, and for what? 1sec quicker PP for most likely the same driver? it just doesnt make sense at all if u think about it deeply.

  17. I voted yes. I like the idea; however, there are some ifs and buts.

    1) I would like to see a real battle in the qualifying session, without any strategic considerations concerning the race day like some drivers saving the tyres for Sunday or having to make a choice between the hard tyres and the soft ones in Q3. However, there would anyway be a choice between a set-up, which suits qualifying better and the perfect race set-up so the strategic part wouldn’t disappear completely.

    2) The 107% rule would need to be reviewed. Now there are times when the slowest cars can set a time within the 107% barrier just because they use quicker tyres and the same qualifying tyres for all would take away this advantage. HRTs and Virgins are not so slow that they would be a danger for the other cars so there is no reason to push them out by applying new rules.

    3) The qualifying tyre should be made so that it reaches its peak after, let’s say, some 4 laps and doesn’t “fall off the cliff” imediately after that so that we see the cars doing more than just one hot lap in each of three sessions.

  18. I must say I really like the Idea of it to have drivers getting in superb qualli laps again. And I like the Idea of having qualifying tyres for (part of) qualifying, even if it is not the simplest nor cheapest solution to the “problem” of having cars choose not to run to save race tyres.

    But I am pretty much unsure if this proposal will actually help that, or worsen it.

    currently they have a total of what 9 sets per car? 3 of those are only for FP, that leaves 6 for quali and the race (not counting wets/inters). Currently top teams use 1 set of the harders and 2-3 sets of the softer tyres in qualli. If Pirelli gave teams Q tyres it would mean 1-3 extra sets of tyres. So would the top qualifyers have less tyres left for the race?

    Lets have a try at the totals, assuming Pirelli means bringing the same amount of tyres for a weekend, not for each team.
    Currently we have 9 x 24 cars = 216 sets (again ex. wets/inters). Of that currently cars can use 3 sets in FP (72 sets), Pirelli would provide 51 sets of Q tyres, means we are left with 69 sets for the race, which means some cars can do only 2 stops (at 3.875 sets/car) for lack of tyres, again hinting at the top qualifyers being penalized with less tyres.
    Possibly it gives you the option to use this set instead of one of the others by choise? Would it mean we have less softer tyres for the race and are more likely to see cars having to use the harder tyres for a longer time.

    Maybe I am wrong with the amount of tyres, or Pirelli does not really want to bring them for all Q sessions, but its hard to balance.

    And even if Pirelli would bring them for Q3 only, would it mean we get only one attemtp by everyone? I liked races where we saw 2 one lap runs by some, others dong only one longer stint with 2-3 timed laps and a few doing only a stint at the start or finish.

    A lot of questions, I will refrain from voting for a while to really thing it over, or possibly vote No Opinion, if I cant come to a conclusion.

    1. Maybe the solution is to bring 1 set of qualifiers for each car? So the backmarkers would have a chance to get into Q2. But that would mean the likes of STR, FI, Williams and Sauber having to use them in Q1 as well. In And then Massa, Mercedes etc, using all of them only for Q1 or maybe for Q2 latest and still have no tyres for Q3 left.

      So it really would only make sense to use them in Q3.

  19. It would only work in conjunction with removing parc fermé rules and bringing back the sunday morning warmup. That’s the only way you’ll get to see amazing laps with cars scraping the ground and falling to bits as soon as they cross the line.

    But that’s a whole load of extra cost and complications. And we’ve seen it all already. What we have now seems to work. Why change it?

  20. I’d love to see quali tyres, there are a lot more pro’s then con’s in my view. However, I feel under the current three session qualifying system, it would not work as you would need at least three sets of tyres for each car.

    What I’d prefer to see is a return of the tyre war. Being a relatively young F1 fan, some of my best memories of the sport are of Michelin shod Willams and McLaren cars going head to head with the Bridgestone Ferrari’s. I know it was expensive, but I would much prefer this to control tyres. It gives extra unpredictability, as the tyres are not identical like they are today.

    Anyone else agree?

    1. I agree with you, different tyres would only add to the spectacle but the problem is that a tyre war is really very expensive so I think it is unlikely to happen, given the current economic environment. Giving an additional couple of sets of tyres for each driver sounds like a more realistic solution.

      By the way, I would like to see not only a ‘tyre war’ but a real ‘engine war’ as well. But that is even more impossible because of the same financial reasons.

      1. It’s not just the cost, it’s the safety implications as well. With a tyre war there’s no way to control cornering speeds using the tyres. And we certainly don’t want to go back to grooved tyres.

      2. Grits I would also like to see a return of the ‘engine war’ days, but agree it is unlikely due to the cost.

    2. Totally disagree. The tyre war was ruining the sport.
      It was just killing the competition, when one tyre brand was significantly faster than the other.
      One race you suddenly saw Ferraris trailing 2sec behind McLaren only because the track didn’t suit their tyres, and there was nothing they could do about it. And e.g. when it was raining you knew half of the field is gonna be very slow and not able to compete, because their wet tyres were crap compared to the other brand’s tyres, and driver’s skill couldn’t make up for it (if you had a slow car on top of that in the first place).

      I don’t like the quali tyres idea at all.
      I simply don’t enjoy watching a race where the cars are 10 seconds slower per lap than they were in the qualifying.
      The races then feel somewhat reluctant.

      1. I the last sentence I meant “The races then feel somewhat REDUNDANT.”

        I agree with you, different tyres would only add to the spectacle

        I’ve watched F1 with tyre wars, and no – it didn’t add to the spectacle.

        With single tyre manufacturer, we’ve got the machine vs. machine battle, and the driver vs. driver battle. Even though the cars make a difference, we’re able to recognize impressive driver performance.

        But with different tyres, you don’t even know which team has the fastest car, because the tyres ruin the comparison.

        I remember back in the Good Year/Bridgestone rivalry, it wasn’t even clear who had the most powerful engine – even though you had the top speeds, because one of the tyres were more aerodynamic (produced less drag). This blurred everything and make it a less exciting experience for the fans.

        1. I think that a car’s performance always depends on many factors so it is often hard to say for sure, which component has made it quick or slow. For instance, we cannot be sure exactly how good Renault’s engine is and whether it helps Red Bull to be in the front or if RBR would be even quicker with a Mercedes engine. There are four different engine manufacturers in F1 now so why couldn’t we have two different tyre manufacturers?

          1. Actually I’m pretty sure Red Bull do better because of their Renault than if they had a Mercedes. The Renault is good on fuel and good on traction, couple that with Red Bull’s downforce and you have a car which is good in all kinds of corners. It’s only a few times a year their straight-line speed lets them down and that’s less to do with their engine than their chassis.

    3. I’ve gone from all-Goodyear, to Goodyear-Bridgestone, Bridgestone-only (twice) and Bridgestone-Michelin.

      Personally I don’t think any tyre era has been as good as this one has the potential to be. Apart from all the gimmick rules, what I’d love to see most is tyres that fall apart proportionately to how hard you work them, with an advantage in using multiple sets rather than saving them. These races are great but eventually they’ll become the norm and it’s good to keep things fresh!

  21. I’ve seen this format used for qualifying in another series (I think it was the Superleague Formula) and quite liked the idea of it.

    At the start of qualifying, drivers are randomly assigned, in equal numbers to either Pot 1 or Pot 2.

    Pot 1 drives first and set the fastest times they can.

    Pot 2 drives second and set the fastest times they can.

    The fastest driver overall (regardless of ‘Pot’) starts on Pole, followed by the driver who was fastest in the other pot. 3rd goes to the driver 2nd fastest in the Pole sitters pot.

    I hope I explained that well enough – but that is what i’d like to see. A certain degree of randomness but not so much that it disadvantages the fastest car.

    I realise this has nothing to do with qualifying tyres – but, for the record, I am very much in favour of them!

  22. one whole egg
    15th August 2011, 13:03

    why not save the super soft Qauli tyre’s for q3, then it would not compromise the rest of free practice running and would add a spectacular finally to qualifying?

    1. You would then be handing an advantage to the top 10. Chances are most of the teams outside that top 10 would be using the softest compound available to ensure their best position in Q2, thus reducing their number of fresh pairs. The majority of the top 10 on the other hand probably wouldn’t have used the softer set for their Q2 time and would have a fresh set (or barely touched) available for the race.

    2. There is nothing spectacular about laps on super-sticky tyres, unless you want to see a driver crash out by driving beyond the limit. If you want spectacular make them qualify on HARD tyres so they can catch the car when grip fails, nothing like a bit of opposite lock to get your attention.

  23. Yes, but only if they had enough tyres to do two runs per session.

  24. I said no.

    While I do like to see F1 cars go as fast as possible, I also want to see some sort of consistency between qualifying and the race.

    I’m a bit undecided on the ‘top-10 starting on their qualifying tyres’ rule but I would definitely like to see the same compound used in the race without a doubt.

    I enjoy both qualifying and the race for different reasons but I also enjoy having that transparency between the two sessions. I think it makes for great comparison between race pace and fastest qualifying lap and we would most certainly lose that.

  25. Bring it on. Give them 2 sets so they can used on two occasions in the three sessions. If the fastest cars can get through Q1 on supersofts then they’ll save themselves 3 sets for the following two sessions.

    If they can tweak it so they set more qualifying times and it adds to the qualifying spectacle, I’m in.

  26. I’ve being playing devils advocate so far on the issue but this time I’ll say what I really think. I think it’s a good idea as long as A) It doesn’t lead to a lack of tyres per team and B) It’s not just for the sake of the cars going faster.

    What’s the point of doing so the cars go faster? There is none. Half the rules in F1 are to slow them down.

    However. I would like to see them return.

    The problem in bringing them back lies mostly in how qually works nowadays. Give the teams enough sets for all sessions and you just have cars going faster. Mostly it would still be the same. Create excitement by giving them one set each and you compromise peoples ability to compete at the end.

    I just think it would be hard to make it work, and make it fair.

  27. Is it really time to bring the qualifying rubber back?
    I’ve done some fairly straightforward calculations on the subject and here’s what i came up with.
    The average difference between dry pole lap and fastest dry race lap this season is 4.603 seconds or 5.1%
    Then i went on to see to stats of last season when qualifying rubber was used – 1991. Back then the average difference between dry pole lap and fastest dry race lap was 5,984 seconds or 5.7%
    I believe in 1991 it was allowed to have a different spec engine for the qualifying and there was no parc ferme rule which meant car could be set up completely different for saturday and sunday.
    Also the fact that the cars were generally slower than nowadays should be considered when looking at the numbers.
    There are also many factors (usage of two compounds during the race and DRS are one of the few) which make my comparisons less accurate, but nevertheless i believe they are worth considering.
    So where are we now? Roughly, we are very close to the difference between Q and R we had in 1991.
    Should Q rubber be introduced to widen the margin between qualifying and race? I’m really not sure. We could end up with margins in lap times that look more like difference between various racing car categories rather than F1 on saturday and F1 on sunday.
    I’m all for improving the show, but i don’t believe than introduction of ultra soft rubber compound is the way to go. There should be tweaks in tire allocation for the weekend and this is a fact, but are qualifying tires is the proper solution?

    1. Thats an interesting view on it Leftie.

  28. NO, because;
    1; It will add cost for no benefit
    2; It will add work for the team to set up the cars
    3; It will cause the cars to race on a set-up compromised by having to qualify on a totally different tyre
    4; It will add another complication to less experienced teams struggling to get their car to work as designed without sufficient testing.

    YES to a separate allocation of tyres for qualifying.

  29. Quote from another post.
    “I’d love to see qualifying tires back. An F1 car from 1989-1991 on a full-beans qualifying run”
    Back then they used qualifying engines too. And the teams had full access to the cars after qualifying to rebuild the car, change the engine, suspension and possibly gearbox from a one-lap-special to something that would actually last the race – with all the associated costs and development. Is that what you want? Seriously?

    Another quote from another post.
    “So if they burn out after a driver finishes his lap, it doesn’t matter.” So if they burn out after one lap, the driver goes back to the pits and the cars spend less time on the track. How is that an improvement?

    Qualifying has been exciting almost the entire season and last year too. It’s not broken so don’t try to fix it.
    It’s irrelevant to ponder whether cars should have qualifying tyres for Q1, 2 and 3 or 3 only, and how the 107% rule might be applied if they don’t, and how the Stewards would decide if someone was impeded on their Qualifying tyres, and what the TV time would be filled with if Q3 remains empty until thge last two minutes. It’s all pointless; the drivers try their damnedest on whatever tyres now. Giving them Qualies isn’t going to make them try harder.

    1. Qualifying has been exciting almost the entire season and last year too. It’s not broken so don’t try to fix it.
      Couldn’t be more wrong, Qualifying has been extremely dull, but that is due to RBR and Vettel, the only exception has been Hamilton and Alonso in two rounds and that wasn’t exactly exciting more slightly interesting.
      Qualifying has been over before its even started most of this season (and the end of last), I’m not saying the a Q tyre is the answer but something to stop Q3 being a snooze is needed. Saying its not broken is very wide of the mark, IMO.
      PS I normally agree with you 100% :-)

      1. “PS I normally agree with you 100%”
        That’s because I’m normally 100% right! :)

        I don’t agree with you about qualifying this year or last year. On many ocassions it’s been more fun than the race in my eyes. Any disappointment has probably been generated by the dominance of Red Bull snd their driver whatsisname . . . y’know. Not the Aussie.

  30. I think it’s a great idea, because we then get to see the best drivers in the world go out (even if it’s just in Q3) and fight as hard as they can for the coveted pole position, without having to worry about saving tyres for the race.

    I also like the added benefit that it would bring more variation to race strategies. As drivers would be able to choose the tyres that they start the race on, then we could start seeing more drivers in the top 6-10 gambling on starting on primes instead, without compromising their qualifying.

    Plus, as said about Mansell in Hungary, there could be drivers deciding to set up their cars better for the race than qualifying, which does make the race more exciting.

    The first example comes to mind, is Jenson Button in Canada. It’s slightly different in terms of that it was a setup for wet conditions, but still has the same principle.

    All in all, i’m all for qualifying tyres!

    1. Why not just give each driver who qualifies for Q3 a set of the option tyres, which must be used. That would mean there only needs to be 10 more sets of tyres brought to each race, and no developement costs.

      1. 10 more sets

        24 – you’d have to mount a set for every driver. Each team have their own wheels. Not enough time to do that between the end of Q2 and Q3 so have to do it in advance, and you wouldn’t know who’s going to be in Q3.

        1. But sets would already mounted for the race, so use one of these and mount the extra set after qualifying.

          1. Qualifying tyres wouldn’t be suitable for use in the race though – we’re talking about tyres that are only good for one lap.

  31. Why not permit each driver one set of qualifying tyres per qualifying session.

    This would put pressure of teams further up the field who would be questioning whether they have to sacrifice their qualifying tyres in Q2 or even Q1 in order to make sure that they get through to the next stage of qualifying.

    I think this could really mix up the running order and make for great racing.

    1. If these quali tyres are to be 2 sec faster than the supersofts then the Lotus’s could be up into the top 10 in Q1 assuming the other teams don’t use them.

      Therefore it would end up all drivers would have to use then in Q1. This would mean no change to present qualifying.

  32. Taking the time to read why so many voted yes to qualifying tyres, I see that most of you expect a more exciting session with more spectacular drives, nothing could be further from the truth. Super sticky qualifying tyres “stick” until the limit of their grip is reached and then they just completely let go causing a spin at best but more likely a crash due to the high speeds generated before they let go. If you want to see more action and more spectacular driving you need harder tyres that not only last longer but let go more progressively so the driver can push to the limit and beyond and recover when they get into a 4 wheel slide or the tail breaks away. With high downforce and super sticky tyres the cars look like they are on rails, not spectacular at all.

  33. I’m not a fan of Q tyres.

    Fur stoval*, it would flatten the race strategies, given that all of the teams would start with the same amount of tyres during the race.

    Now it’s exciting plenty, we saw Hamilton through on softs in Q2 in Hungary which gave him good race advantage, i’d like to see more of that later in the season.

    Second, i don’t want to see big differences in performance in Qualifying, drivers need to be as close together as possible during quali for our entertainment.

    Third, and some may disregard this argument because it’s biased and based solely on current circumstances, there’s a strong possibility it would further boost certain drivers Q performance which i also don’t want to witness. I won’t tell you which one i’m on about, all i can say is that he’s driving for Red Bull and he’s not Australian.

    1. * – if you read it loud and fast, it sounds exactly like First Of All.

  34. The most simple solution is for the teams to have more sets of tires for a race weekend. Compound choices now are pretty good and most who follow the sport like what they have added to the races.

    There is little value in producing a tire that becomes worn out after 400 to 500 meters of distance. Accepting this concept will accomplish nothing and serves no practical benefits.

    At present the range of tires is good enough. They just need to be able to access more sets during a weekend. That way a team can adjust their car based on the nature of the track, their cars ability to transfer the power to the tarmac and then focus on a plan that allows the maximun performance based on how the car reacts to the demands.

    The call for more tire sets will allow a team to maximize it potential instead of what we have today, forcing teams to under utilize its potential.

    Maybe 7 or 8 pitstops during a race will become vogue.

  35. UKfanatic (@)
    15th August 2011, 17:24

    I dont know but I would say No, because I don’t think that all the possible benefits refered in this arcticle would apply nowadays, actually none, it would only waste of money. First because of the level of competion second softer tyres are provinf to split teams performance this year, and third if you make a mistake with the qually tyres you are just as limited in the number of tyres as now.

  36. What they should do is allow only one set of qualifying tyres for all teams

    that will force teams to be strategic on how/when they use it and not just a case of “i’ll put it on all the time”

  37. I don’t see the point. If anything, qualifying tyres should be made out of rocks to see more mistakes and mix the field up a little bit.

    I personally am happy with the current tyre rules and compounds. Please fix other stuff instead.

    1. Like dull Qualifying?, the dullest in the last 5 – 6 years.
      Anything to fix it, doesn’t need to be the tires.

      1. I don’t see how the qualys are dull. Maybe because the result is usually the same? Qualy tyres won’t fix this.

  38. Looks like the vote-only crowd are overwhelmingly for qualifying tyres but the no-voters are the ones explaining their vote.

  39. If all the tyres are the same and every team uses or has the opportunity to use the same tyres, it shouldn’t really matter how soft the tyres are as no team benefits. The only benefit I can see is that qualifying times would come down. The fastest cars will still be the fastest cars and the fastest drivers will still be the fastest drivers.

  40. I think they should come back. One set that last three flying laps, so that Q3 won’t be all about one lap, per qualifying session.

    1. Fixy, this seems to be why we have 100 more fans wanting a qualifying tyre but I think you would get the result you want with a separate allocation of the option tyre for qualifying, so the teams don’t need to save the tyres for the race. This is different to having a special compound qualifying tyre, and a solution I support. What about you?

      1. I should have specified that the allocation would be on a “use them or lose them” basis.

  41. No. I don’t agree with the people that say qualifying would be made more dangerous by introducing a qualifying tyre, but with the current Q1-Q2-Q3 structure, it’s difficult to imagine how it would work. Besides, qualifying in recent years, especially since the race-fuel rule was abolished, have been anything but boring.

    I suspect that a lot of the reason this idea has been so popular is because it is seen as a return to the “golden years”, when in fact, I think the current era of Formula 1 is perhaps the most exciting ever, even if it is for different reasons. The qualifying tyre could be used, but it would mean the entire qualifying system would have to be completely redesigned to accommodate it.

    1. A very good post Damon, I must say I am as of yet undecided (vote No opinion?) but going from being very positive to rather sceptical during the day.

    2. Yes it would need a redesign of the current system, which is why I’m for it. Qualifying has been so dull. However there are other solutions, like an extra set of S.soft just for Q3.

    3. Agreed Damon. We are in a very good era to be a Formula 1 fan. We should embrace where we are, not where we were.

  42. Just a quick thought, we could probably achieve what everybody ( statisticians excepted) wants simply by banning use of the option tyre in qualifying.

  43. NO, i for one don’t want to go back to the 80’s/90’s where qualifying times were sometimes 10-15 seconds a lap quicker than the race. Knowing they were driving well within the car spoilt race day.

  44. Qualifying should be about ultimate one lap pace. Take the world superbikes for instance, the place where this format of qualifying came from, they use qualifying tyres and the result is spectacularly exiting flat out pace. You shouldn’t have to worry about saving tyres or any of that nonsense in quali, it should be about pure unadulterated speed. The race is the place where you worry about all that, the 2 shouldn’t be connected in this way.

  45. and on another note:

    If the quali tyres were brought back into F1, they should give each driver 2 sets for the whole of qualifying, that they can use at any stage. So virgin would probably use both in q1, where as redbull would probably try not to use one in q1, running the risk of going out early…..

  46. If only to end the unspeakably oligophrenic rule about starting the race on the qualifying tyres, this is a great addition, even if they are made of stone. Now, for good measure, if the @@@@ing rule about the mandatory use of both compounds in the race could be scrapped too…

  47. What is next? Return of qualifying engines? Special qualifying aeropackages? Hell, unique fuel only for qualifying?

    For the people complaining about drivers not doing laps during qualifying this year, how often has that happened? Not often and rarely done by the top three teams. More importantly, the risk doesn’t always pay off.

    1. You make a good point. Where does it stop? Personally I love seeing the continuity we have between qualifying and the race.

  48. Just what F1 needs, more gimmicks !. Oh come on F1 is looking micky mouse as it is, now where talking bubble gum tyres for 1 lap…(holds head in hand slowly nodding).

  49. Can’t help but feel that some are watching the wrong series of motorsport.

    It used to be that F1 had ‘one lap wonder’ tyres, and now people just want to see something akin to touring car racing. They’ll be wanting success ballast next!

    Each driver will have to get a banker or two in on the harder tyre anyway, before they go for their run on the qualifiers. No point just going out on a qualifying run without first making sure that you’re the fastest on the harder tyre.

    If they want to please themselves, they’ll do it. If, however, they listen to want fans want….

  50. I would go along with ballast – why not?

  51. Memo to FIA, Bernie, Pirelli:

    Don’t mess with qualifying. It’s not broke! Sometimes it’s the most exciting part of a race weekend. So don’t screw it up!

  52. It’s not, that would be to much. We have KERS, which is pretty cool, DRS, which is a little less cool but still nice to have, and we have these awesome, quickly degrading pirelli tyres. Why do we need a forth gimmick?

  53. You don’t need qualifying tyres. If Pirelli takes a compound of tyre that is really too soft for the conditions as one of the mandated two compounds that pretty much does the same thing.

    We haven’t seen a race yet this year where the harder ‘prime’ tyre was the one to be on in race conditions. I think it’s high time we saw that.

  54. I think its could be good; they “fixed” boring races, but made qualifying boring instead; so qualifying tires could remedy that… or would it be too perfect to have both races and quali sessions exciting at the same time? :D

  55. I don’t like the idea of quali tyres for 2 reasons:

    1. A far easier solution is to give all teams a maximum of 2 sets of options for the race and 2 for qualifying. That would simply mean 1 extra set per race than what they have today. They cannot burn up a 3rd set in quali, nor can they save a 3rd set for the race. So, everyone can push in qualifying on the options, without having to worry about the race. So, no more drivers that refuse to set a time in Q3 to save a set of options. It would also provide 2 fresh sets of options to the slower teams for the race, which would can help brining the field a little closer.

    2. Quali tyres would last only 1 lap. That would have serious consequences:
    – if that lap is compromised, they’d have to come in the pits, get a fresh set, a little refuellig maybe and head out again. In Q3, there will not always be time for that. Therefore, “luck” would play too big a part in qualifying, which I would not like.

    – Just like safety, so did the financial interests in the sport evolve in the past 2 decades. Teams are now under more pressure than ever to deliver results. Crashgate was an extreme indication of that. With tyres that last only 1 lap, how tempting would it be to block a competitor on a hot lap? You can try to take away the temptation by making the penalties more severe. But that means that an honest mistake is also penalised much more severe. More negative pressure on the drivers. And more pressure on the marshalls too, to take the correct decision, given the implications on the affected drivers.

    All this for what, exactly? What would be the added value of a totally different 1-lap quali tyre over a slight change in the tyre allocation suggested in point 1?

  56. My idea:

    Every driver gets 1 set of Quali tyres for the entire session.

    It’ll bring up interesting strategies, as some teams will use theirs right away in Q1 (like HRT etc.) and the odd Lotus could knock out a Williams/Toro Rosso that took a chance on saving them for Q2. In Q2 you get the same thing but with the big teams risking not making Q3 if they save theirs.

  57. As the post-qualifying parc fermé will continue to exist, I believe the so-called re-introduction of qualifying tyres will only make the sport even more complicated for the casual fan.

  58. the thought of alonso hamilton vettel webber given it all with sticky pirelli makes my mouth water oh yes bring it on, and while we are on qualifing engines too.

  59. I simply cannot understand why having qualifying tyres would bring anything to the show. Other than additional costs and a environmental waste in producing tyres for just one lap, it would bring nothing meaningful to qualifying that is not already provided under the current system.

    No need to fix something that in my opinion isn’t broken

  60. As much as the qualifying tyres would bring possibly more excitement, didn’t we already have a ‘one-lap only’ qualifying session back in 2003 (I think).

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