The FIA ​​is amending the rules for qualifying tires for the Formula 1 race to avoid farce

The FIA ​​has amended the regulations for qualifying tires for the Formula 1 race to avoid the “unintended consequences” that appeared in Baku at the first event held under the 2023 rules.

The change means teams will no longer pursue intelligent tire strategies that could see them using intermediate tires in a dry session.

As the rules were originally written, drivers had to use new medium tires in Saturday’s SQ1 and SQ2 sessions, and then new tires in SQ3.

Teams realized they didn’t have to save up a set of new soft tires for SQ3 if they felt those tires would be most useful early in the weekend, either in FP1 or the Friday qualifying session for the Grand Prix.

In fact, in Baku, Yuki Tsunoda and Lando Norris used all of their soft tires before the sprint qualifying session.

At the event, Tsunoda did not build the SQ3, but Norris did. McLaren had left the option open for him to run on a median – which the rules allowed – in case two drivers in the same situation made the SQ3. However, Norris didn’t need to run, so he stayed in the garage and qualified 10th.

The possibility of using mediums in a dry session was seen as farcical by many in the ring, and has therefore now been addressed.

The rules have been changed to allow drivers to use any set of soft tires on the SQ3. This means drivers can still gamble on using all of their new software before qualifying for a sprint knowing they can still at least run in SQ3 even on used software.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22, Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, Zhu Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42

Photography: Alessio Morgese

The door was open for such a change because, under Article 1.4 of the 2023 regulations, the FIA ​​reserved the right to easily adjust the new sprint rules by August 1 after the first examples in Azerbaijan, Austria and Belgium.

Relevant circumstances included that any change “must address unintended problems that have arisen as a result of changes in these sporting regulations approved by the WMSC in April 2023” and “should have the sole purpose of ensuring sporting fairness or avoiding organizational problems”.

In addition, eight teams had to agree, in which case all but one supported the change.

In his remarks released ahead of this weekend’s event at the Red Bull Ring, Formula 1 race director Nils Wittich wrote: “In order to avoid the admittedly unintended consequence whereby it becomes attractive in certain situations in sprint events to run intermediate tires on a dry track, the modification has been made Next on Article 30.5.h of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.

“The commercial rights holder, the hosts and the teams were consulted. The FIA ​​agreement, the commercial rights holder and nine competitors were obtained in accordance with Article 1.4.

“Accordingly, my decision is to amend Article 30.5(h)4) to read as follows – Article 30.5(h)4 amended wording:

“In a rapid-fire SQ3 period, one set of dry-weather tires can be used, and that only has to be a set of soft-spec.”

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