F1 tests alternative tire distribution in Emilia Romagna GP qualifying. Drivers and teams must use mandatory tires in Q1, Q2 and Q3 instead of optional if Saturday’s qualifying is dry. Watch the Emilia Romagna GP live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. A new F1 qualifying format will be tested at this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Here’s how Sky Sports F1 works…what’s changed? Tires will be required. If Imola is dry on Saturday, only the hard tires will be available in Q1. Only medium tires will be available in Q2. Only soft tires will be available in the third quarter.
Drivers and teams are free to choose tires if a wet session is called. Why were the changes made? The ‘Alternative Tire Allocation’ experiment aims to determine if the number of tires available for Grand Prix weekends can be reduced. As part of the trial, the number of dry tire sets available to each car over the weekend will be reduced from 13 to 11. This translates to 40 sets or 160 tires saved over the weekend. If implemented at all 23 races this season, it will save 3,680 tires.
Each driver has 3 sets of hard tyres, 4 sets of medium tyres, and 4 sets of soft tyres, ready for the weekend. This means an extra set of hard and medium tires, but a reduction of four sets of soft tires.
Pirelli has chosen the softest compound in its tire range for the Emilia Romagna GP. Hard tires are C3, medium tires are C4 and soft tires are C5 compounds. This is a softer ‘step’ than in 2022 and should help drivers warm up their tyres, given Imola’s cooler temperatures in May. The number of intermediate and wet tires available to drivers over the weekend remains at four and three sets respectively.
What are the drivers saying about the change?
So far there have been few comments from the drivers on testing, but Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc have changed after the first qualifying session of the season in Bahrain. expresses an opinion about
“Hopefully Imola doesn’t get cold, otherwise it will be very difficult,” said Verstappen.
“Actually, I don’t think you need to do that in qualifying. I don’t see any real benefit. ‘I think it’s probably for the show that it’s seasoned like that,'” Perez added. He also questioned the need for fine-tuning, saying,
“Yeah, I think it’s just for the show.” In the qualifying session we were in (0.292s was enough for the top three in Bahrain), everything was close so I don’t think it’s necessary.
“You don’t really need to change anything, but you’ll see when you try it, I don’t think you need to change something that works well.” I think, but let’s change it,” he added.
At Thursday’s media day in Imola, all the drivers will be able to complete a survey about this weekend’s testing and we will tell you their best reactions.