Formula 1’s official tyre supplier Pirelli has revealed further details of how the sport’s new Sprint Qualifying regulations will work.
At the three rounds, qualifying will take place on Friday and decide the starting order for a new, 100-kilometre Sprint Qualifying race on Saturday. The result of that race will set the starting order for Sunday’s grand prix.
Changing the race weekend format for those races has required adjustments to F1’s tightly-controlled limits on which tyres teams may use and when.
In a normal race weekend, the ‘Q3 tyre rule’ stipulates drivers who reach Q3 must start the race on the tyres they used to set their fastest lap time in Q2. However on Sprint Qualifying race weekends drivers will only be allowed to use the soft tyre compound in qualifying.
Pirelli has confirmed the tyres drivers use in qualifying during Sprint Qualifying weekends will have no bearing on what rubber they must use in either the Saturday or Sunday races.
The ‘Q3 tyre rule’ has been a focus of criticism from some teams, as it can hand an advantage to cars which narrowly fail to reach the top 10 in qualifying, and therefore become the highest starters on the grid to benefit from fresh rubber. Teams have previously discussed dropping the rule but failed to reach agreement.
During Sprint Qualifying weekends, drivers will still be required to use at least two different dry weather tyre compounds in the grand prix (unless they use a wet or intermediate tyre). That restriction will not be imposed during the Sprint Qualifying race. The requirement for drivers to reserve two mandatory tyre sets as determined by Pirelli for the grand prix will also remain in force.
In a further change, drivers will be required to reserve at least one set of new soft tyres for Q3 in the Friday qualifying sessions during Sprint Qualifying weekends, Pirelli confirmed.
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2021 F1 season
- Title ‘stolen’ from Mercedes made us ‘underdogs people cheer for’ – Wolff
- Red Bull Racing spent £230m during Verstappen’s title-winning 2021 campaign
- ‘I can’t box?’: Hamilton and Verstappen’s 2021 Abu Dhabi GP radio transcript
- Abu Dhabi’s legacy one year on: How the controversial 2021 finale changed F1
- The case for changing F1’s penalty points system as Gasly nears ban