Pirelli wants qualifying rule tweak to stop teams not running to save tyres

Pirelli is to make a push to change Formula 1's qualifying rules to prevent drivers from being tempted to not run in qualifying in a bid to save tyres, AUTOSPORT can reveal

Pirelli wants qualifying rule tweak to stop teams not running to save tyres

With drivers limited to just six sets of tyres for qualifying and the race, there have been occasions where drivers have limited their running on Saturday to ensure that they keep fresh sets of rubber for Sunday.

But amid fears that there could be circumstances where drivers choose not to do any running at all in Q3, Pirelli has asked the teams to consider modifying the rules.

"We are talking with the teams about the regulations," Pirelli's director of motorsport Paul Hembery said. "At the moment if you don't set a time, for example in Q3, then you are able to choose the tyres that you start on. It means people could be saving a set of tyres because then they would be better off in the race.

"I've made a suggestion to put to the Sporting Working Group to say that actually in those circumstances, you should be made to use your Q2 tyres in that situation, so there is no advantage from not setting a time."

Hembery said the matter had been discussed in the Formula 1 Commission meeting earlier this week, and that it was now likely to go through the Sporting Working Group for an official vote.

"From the meeting I was at, they felt it was a very good idea and it would get rid of anyone messing around like that," he said.

"If you have problems and don't go out and qualify, you will still start on a set of tyres that have done an out-lap, set a time and an in-lap, so they will be in the same condition as everyone else. That is the fairest sporting way, so hopefully they will adopt that."

When asked if he thought the matter would get the approval of the teams, Hembery said: "Certainly from the team principals' point of view they were in favour of that, because we saw one example of that when Michael [Schumacher] had an issue in Monaco and then had the option of starting on what he wanted.

"We want to get rid of that scenario. And it is more for the fans because otherwise we will see people not bothering in qualifying and that is a waste of time.

"So if drivers are going to have to use a used set they may as well try and go and get a position anyway."

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