F1 planning qualifying changes in 2014 over tyre issues

F1 planning qualifying changes in 2014 over tyre issues 10th February 2014

Formula One (F1) governing body the FIA has arranged a meeting with team managers from the paddock during the next testing session in Bahrain to discuss potential changes to the qualification regulations for the 2014 season.

According to Autosport, the meeting has been arranged for February 21st, and has come about after concerns were expressed that drivers qualifying for the final session may decline to run in a bid to save their Pirelli tyres for race day.

This would remove the excitement from Q3 and F1s Strategy Group has asked that the teams and the FIA get together to discuss the issues.

The current rules see the top ten drivers starting the race on the tyres that they set their best Q3 time on, which has led to situations where drivers have refused to set a best time in the final qualifying session, as they gain the advantage of choosing their tyre for the race.

Some of the proposals put forward to solve the issue include forcing drivers that do not set a time in Q3 to start the race they set their best time of Q2 on, removing the incentive for drivers to stay in the pit lane during the final shootout.

Other suggestions could see Pirelli provide a designated set of qualifying tyres to the teams, which would be returned to the FIA afterwards. This would act as an additional set of tyres, rather than being one of the driver's sets for the race, which will enable them to push hard in each qualifying session.

There will also be discussions about lengthening the time period of Q3 from ten minutes to ensure there is enough time for the top ten drivers to complete two timed qualifying runs.

However, to make any changes to the qualification process there would need to be unanimous support from the teams, which has been difficult to gain in the past. If this support is guaranteed then the changes will be implemented for the first grand prix in Australia in March.

Posted by Danielle Barge