Formula 1 and Pirelli are collaborating to test the new tire regulations throughout the weekend at Imola.
Formula 1 is set to test the new tire rules at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend. From the new wet tire type, to the set of tires for each qualifying round, to the number of tire sets allocated to each team, each new rule has a different purpose.
The rule that has generated the widest range of opinions is that it will now set the tire compounds for each qualifying round. Each driver on the grid must use the hard compound in Q1, the medium compound in Q2 and the soft compound in Q3.
While this rule is tested to make qualifiers more interesting, it may prevent teams from using the strategies they would prefer to use. The teams are going for the pace during the qualifying session and the hard tire is rarely used.
Despite promoting a more level playing field between teams for more interesting results, this is simply a waste of a tire that teams would rather save for the actual race when it generally has much more value.
By giving Formula 1 teams less freedom in tire choice, we will force them to reconsider the strategy they want to use over the weekend.
In a way, the FIA wants to take more control of how the race weekend goes. This may not be the best idea as each team approaches their strategy differently which keeps the whole event exciting.
Moreover, forcing teams to use tires that may not be suitable for track conditions may not be the best decision. These 10 teams are well aware of what tire they would like to use based on their strategy.
As we’ve seen this season, the qualifying sessions provided plenty of action and entertainment for fans. Changing something that doesn’t need to be changed is not the best way for the FIA to operate.
While this weekend in Imola only means testing these rules, the general reactions of the drivers after it will give the FIA a better sense of what needs to be implemented permanently. This qualifying tire regulation is of little benefit and should not be implemented full-time.