Poll Qualifying Rules - Should changes be made?

How could qualifying be improved/made more fair?


  • Total voters
    55

sushifiesta

Champion Elect
Contributor
I imagine a similar thread exists somewhere, I couldn't find one but apologies if it does exist. There was a thread suggesting more radical changes to the qualifying format, but I think in general most people, myself included, like the three session format.

The question is a) whether is is fair that drivers like Vettel at Monaco yesterday can benefit from not participating fully in qualifying and b) should we do something to stop it/improve the situation? It probably adds a bit of intrigue, but I think the drivers can legitimately feel cheesed off if someone they out qualify can just drive round them in the race because they have fresher tyres. We also see some unexpected strategies as a result, and again I can see pros and cons here. The same sort of questions could be asked about DRS - a balance has to be found between what is "fair" and what is "exciting".

I think perhaps it would be worthwhile trying to do something to improve the situation, at least to try and force all ten drivers to complete one flying lap in Q3. I can think of three ways in which the rules could be changed to try and aid this, and I've created a poll so we can see what people think. The options are:

a) Extra sets of tyres for qualifying.

This is the most common suggestion, and Pirelli themselves have said they support the idea and are ready and able to supply extra sets for the Q3 drivers, possibly even a new super-super-super soft compound! For this to fix the problem I think it's clear that the tyres should not be usable in the race, which could either be achieved by taking the extra set/s back at the end of qualifying, or using a qualifying tyre that degrades very quickly and is only useful for one flying lap.

Given the problems that the teams are having as it is with the current range of compounds, I would suggest giving an extra set of options to the teams rather than a completely new compound, and then taking this set back after qualifying. The question is then who you give the extra set too - just the Q3 drivers or to everyone?

Giving an extra set to everyone would appear to be the fairest way on the surface, as it is consistent, but would it fix the problem? I feel that the drivers likely to place 7th-10th would still be reluctant to use much rubber in Q3, and may have also taken some of the life out of the extra set by then. The Q3 drivers also complete more laps overall, so perhaps just giving the extra set to them, as is normally suggested, is the fairest and most effective method. I'm not sure whether this creates a logistical problem (there's not much time between Q2 and Q3 to distribute the extra tyres), but surely F1 could find a solution...

b) Penalties for drivers who don't set a competitive time in a qualifying session.

Initially this seemed like a good idea to me, but now I'm not so sure. My idea was that, for example, drivers who don't set a time within 107% of the fastest in ANY session get some sort of penalty. The issue is what form this penalty would take. If you start giving out grid penalties then you end up with slower drivers being artificially bumped up the grid, it would at least be a good deterrent though. But what do you do in the case of mechanical failures/crashes in qualifying? Would a team avoid penalty if they can prove the car had a genuine issue? Another idea could be that, in conjunction with c), you force drivers who don't set a competitive time to start on used tyres, or you even take one of their sets of tyres. I think taking a set of tyres sounds like the fairest punishment, and perhaps this is done irrespective of whether there was a car failure to avoid opening a can of worms.

c) Remove rule that top 10 start on the tyre they qualified on.

Unless my memory is just terrible, this rule was created in the Bridgestone era to try and create a bit of extra interest/excitement. In that case is it really necessary any more? If my memory is terrible and it's only been used in the Pirelli era, why was it introduced in the first place?

The only advantage I can see to this rule is that it means all the top 10 are starting on used tyres. if the rule is removed then you can have the situation where some drivers have new sets of options available and other don't, and in a one stop race, for example, this would seem to be a significant advantage. Overall though, it seems like a bit of an unnecessary rule and gives the strange effect of 11th/12th being somehow better than 9th/10th.

Let the voting commence! I've left the categories fairly blank, so you don't have to subscribe to my suggestions for how they could be implemented.
 

mjo

Procrastinating
Contributor
The race is the main event - qualifying is only a pre-show. I would happily sacrifice a potentially dull qualifying session for an exciting race, with lots of overtaking.
 

Abnash24

Points Scorer
I didnt like how Vettel had the luxury of choosing what tyres to go on before the race, they could have for all we know made their decision a few minutes before the race where they would have known that the rain was 1/2 a hour away and he would have been able to get on the right tyre while the others who set fast laps had to start on tyres that could not make the 1/2 a hour before the rain and would have to complete 1 extra stop, handing the advantage to non Q3 Lap setter
 

sushifiesta

Champion Elect
Contributor
mjo Ok, but it's not clear to me that making these changes would affect the current quality of racing, apart from a few lucky gambles.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
These are instances when a driver didn't set a time in Q3 and where they finished

Australia
9th Ricciardo

Bahrain
6th di Resta
7th Alonso

Spain
5th Kobayashi
6th Vettel
Ret Schumacher

Monaco
4th Vettel

There is a definite correlation between not setting a time and saving tyres and getting a good result.

Something needs to be done otherwise it won't be long before no-one goes out in Q3...
 

HammydiRestarules

Di Resta fan :).
Contributor
I've voted for the A and C options.

Reason been is that i'd fully support the extra tyre rule for those that get into Q3 and really do think that this is possibly the best way to go. As your not saving tyres for the race, then this will force teams to go out and do a lapped time to get better grid positions instead of wasting a set of race tyres.

C is similar to A in some respects only your not getting the extra set of tyres your just starting on the tyre you want rather than the tyre you set your Q3 lap on.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
I voted for a) and b).

Personally, I would like to see a rule introduced that if you didn't manage to set a time within 107% of the quickest time in the session, then you must start from the back of the grid.... (To stop all these shenanigans) - i'd also have an additional rule to say that if you don't make it back to the pits following your qualifying lap, you must start from the pitlane... This would remove any arguments like the ones we saw in Spain! (It makes intuitive sense as well - since if the car stops on track, then the team are going to have to break parc ferme rules - it always irritates me seeing a driver bin it at the end of qualifying - a-la Rubens in Singapore 2009, preventing other cars from getting faster, yet still managing to start the race in front of them! - just think if, say, Schumacher were to set pole position, but then when other cars were trying to go faster he stopped on track....).....
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Just to echo Wombcat's view, why should the top 10 runners be penalised by having no choice on the tyres when the rest of the grid can do as they please. I don't have a problem with drivers not running in Q3 as they are just playing by the rules but if the rules force them down this route it is a bit daft.
 

ramilas1

Podium Finisher
I'm not really convinced by this supposed 'gain' made by Vettel in not using any Q3 tyres.

In Q2 he was 9th and likely to improve a bit on that time like nearly everybody else.

All of those who did run made better times except Maldonado and Massa ....
..... while Alonso and Raikkonen only gained between 1 and 2 tenths.

The other 5 made between 5 and 7 tenths, so Vettel (probably) took a (realistic) drop from 5th/6th/7th down to 10th ....
..... and then finished 4th - a nett gain of maybe 1 or 2 places, or maybe as many as the full 6.
BUT he gained one due to Maldonado's penalty and you have to give him another 2 freebies due to the Schumi/Grosjean tangle.

Hardly worth a rule change and, let's be fair, this minority tactic hasn't exactly led to either boring quali or races.
As the old saying goes; if it ain't broke, don't mess about with it!
Option d) for me.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I don't think it's the Vettel incident particularly ramilas1, more the general principal of how things are netting out in Q3. I'm sure there were a few races last season where only 6 or 7 cars took part in the last qualifying period which isn't really what the fans want and, after all, it is a spectator sport.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I expect nothing will be done about it....until there comes a time when the number of runners in Q3 is down to five or fewer.

Then there will be all sorts of knee-jerk reactions.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
If it is happening at Monaco, probably the easiest circuit of all on tyres, then something really ought to be done. You could probably resolve it all with one extra set of options, and converting one of the prime sets to option (so only one extra set of tyres overall).
 

ramilas1

Podium Finisher
Quite right, Brogan - but I think (hope!) that it won't get that far because there would be a Catch-22 effect before it would.
If I don't run I save tyres and maybe gain some advantage on the others.
If nobody runs I don't save anything and don't gain anything.

And I would rather be on here complaining about FIA knee-jerk reactions than advocating them in the first place.

I can see the 'spectator sport' bit but F1 is a sport driven (excuse the pun!) by calculation and tactics - always has, always will.

If somebody feels he will quali in 8th/9th/10th, and 'waste' a set of new tyres doing it, then the option is there as a valid tactic.
If enough of them come a cropper doing it, and only a very few prosper, it is unlikely to become widespread.
Frankly, could any of those who have chosen to use it this season be deemed to have made a great leap forwards.

Only Vettel has tried it twice, with limited success in both cases I would argue.
Monaco as above, little gain, and in Spain he knew he would be 8th by not ruinning - got up to 7th when Hammy dsq'd and finished 6th!
I know, in both cases, he might have finished further back if he'd had less tyres; but him having that choice is part of the fun, isn't it?
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
I made a mistake not having read the small print about multiple votes allowed. So I vot 3 whereas it should have been 1 and 3.

But really it makes no difference. I would like to see special one lap qualifying tyres, since they could only be used for that then the drivers would have to start on different tyres anyway.

In the list of who has gained from not setting a lap I think that statistics have got in the way of what happened on the ground in the case of Monaco.

The drivers who qualified in 1st, 5th 8th and 9th positions were taken out of the equation by the accident at the first corner. Had that not happened Vettel would have been running in 9th position at best, in this position he would have been caught up in the Raikonnen queue causing him to not make up any positions due to tyre strategy. This makes a big difference to the advantages gained by not running in Q3.

The point about those of us who want to see cars and drivers going at their maximum in Q3 is the one that counts for me. We pay by one means or another, we should get the goods, not be fobbed by no-show cars. The team points for drivers who do not compete in Q3 should be removed after the race.
 

jez101

Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
Contributor
I think the rule for starting on the qually tyre is the first to go for me. You might still get teams tyre saving in Q1 and Q2 especially so they can go for pole and still start on a new set but I wouldn't change mid-season.

I think the issue with extra sets for those who get into Q3 is that the tyres need to be mounted on the wheels and ready to go and that each team provides their own wheels and has to balance them differently.

You would have to issue all teams with the extra set on Thursday so that the tyres could be ready for the possibility that the car is in Q3 on Saturday. Of course this can be done, perhaps it should but I am not convinced, especially when I hear Ross Brawn say they don't want it (and his team would perhaps gain the most with their tyre issues).
 
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