Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022

Qualifying rules change makes F1 “a lot more fair” – Sainz

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr has welcomed F1’s decision to drop its Q3 tyre rule, saying it will make races much fairer.

The rule, which was introduced in 2014, required all drivers who reached Q3 to start the race on the tyres they used to set their quickest lap time in Q2. It has been removed from the sporting regulations for 2022, meaning all drivers have a free choice of tyre to start the race on.

“I think it’s more fair,” Sainz told media including RaceFans in Bahrain.

The regulation had been criticised by drivers who felt it handed an advantage to the quickest teams who were able to use a harder tyre compound at the start of the race.

Sainz the rule change could lead teams towards more conservative strategies. However he believes this is a price worth paying for more equal competition for drivers.

“The only negative thing is that probably in the races that are on the limit of the two and the one-stop, everyone will elect probably a stiffer compound and the race will become a maybe an easier one-stop because you have the possibility to start on the medium. On a new medium on top, not even used.

“That’s the only downside. But I’m happy to take that downside because it’s a lot more fair for everyone to start a race with equal opportunity, let’s say.”

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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10 comments on “Qualifying rules change makes F1 “a lot more fair” – Sainz”

  1. Indeed & long-overdue, but better later than never.
    I disagree with having any downsides, & weirdly he said stiffer rather than harder.

    1. Stiffer vs harder is probably just the language barrier

  2. It limits the strategic options and will make the races dull on some tracks.
    The advantages for the fast team could lead to a important strategic option for the slower teams.
    It’s a pity they cancelled this rule.

    1. No, it does not limit strategy, it does the opposite, even carlos jnr didn’t read the situation correctly. There are no downsides. The removal of the artificial element opens up strategy. Any artificial rule has negative side effects, with this one there is no trade off, not the case of fairness and purity going against shaking things up. This rule achieved nothing positive. The rule was made to handicap the midfield With the rule, top teams would take advantage as they knew that nobody behind them could run long, they also knew they would be able to take advantage of the harder tyre without fearing an undercut since the midfield was strategically hampered, top teams woukd just get a gap and slot in after pitting. Every race was the same. Limiting strategy is what the rule achieved as it premeditated the races. Now the top teams are going to have a harder time undercutting, maybe the under won’t lead to be the only strategy on, might change race by race, some teams might risk a softer tyre to get a better start, some cars might push for even more undercutting and pit more often. Teams might split strategies over both drivers. One driver overcutting managing to keep a decent pace pitting less. Fortune might favour someone as well, since we are not going to only have 4 cars capable of running long, running long might open up the chance to benefit from race conditions be it sc, vsc or the weather.

      1. @peartree While i agree with you i think the Q3 rule made for the era where the fastest team where so fast tyres doesn’t matter for them and new tyres were advantieus for the slower teams.

        But we will see if the cars will be closer because of this.

      2. I also liked the q2 quali rule because it meant the fastest teams would go with slower tyres in that session and produce unusual orders.

  3. I’m a bit on the fence about this.

    It was “supposed” to force the top 10 into an earlier stop so that the gap to the midfield closed up a bit, but the reality was that the delta between compounds allowed the top couple of teams to easily get into q3 on a harder compound so it became meaningless.

    The idea was sound enough but the gap at the top and the lack of any clear delta messed it up.

    At the end of the day it’s certainly not worth keeping it so I guess it’s fair enough.

  4. Good riddance of a silly rule. Hurt the races of far too many drives who put a great lap in a lot slower car to scrape into q3 only to then be stuck starting the race 10th with a massive disadvantage to drivers behind them. You shouldn’t be penalising drivers for doing better in qualifying.

    Was just a gimmick to create more artificial racing in the midfield which frankly isn’t needed as the gaps are such in that area usually that there is often a good mix of cars out of sequence due to over/under performance.

  5. Good to read your comments and better understand the positives of dropping this rule. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

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