Formula One Given the Opportunity to Spice Up Qualifying?
Whilst the three-part qualifying structure has increased the spectatorship and excitement in forming the grid for race day, it has also meant that constructors and drivers become conservative in their efforts at times.
For example, a driver who makes the final 10 shootout but has no chance of pole, uses the final session to post a respectful time but in essence to focus more on conserving tyres and set up them up for a stronger position in the race.
To combat this, Pirelli, the sole providers of tyres this year has reportedly offered to introduce specialised qualifying tyres for next year.
Certainly Red Bull, Mclaren and Ferrari have gone into the final sessions with an attacking nature, intent on edging their cars as close to the front row as possible. But midfield outfits like Mercedes, Force India and Renault face less impetus to push to the limit. Strategy becomes their focus as one accepted grid position loss could easily be regained with the Kers booster or an undercut in the pits.
Imagine if all 24 drivers in each qualifying session were afforded sets of heavily gripped rubber that could produce the fastest single lap pace.
Qualifying Tyres: A Good Idea?
The cliff-edged tyres used on race day could continue to cause intense uncertainty and continued action throughout the Grand Prix. Yet the ability for drivers to fight for every position on the grid could further enhance the strategies for the race itself.
Drivers on the cusp like Nico Rosberg and the returning Robert Kubica would have a greater opportunity to demonstrate their raw pace to split teams at the front.
Similarly, the likes of Team Lotus may seize an opportunity to finally claim grid positions ahead of Toro Rosso and Williams if they can initialise a setup with the tyres that would continue their progress.
The idea from Pirelli has been put forward for the teams' input. Let's hope that the teams see the opportunities behind the plan and embrace it to its inception.
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