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F1 drivers give puzzled reaction to new qualifying rules

March 15, 2023 Europe Sports

A new qualifying format will be trialled at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix with new tyre restrictions.

Formula 1’s last attempt at changing the qualifying format was fraught with errors to say the least.

The ‘elimination qualifying’ lasted two races in 2016, featuring drivers being put up against a countdown in each of the Q1, Q2, and Q3 sessions.

While it was designed to provide more jeopardy, in reality it created a scenario where drivers elected not to go out on track and sit in the garage while it counted them out – bringing new meaning to the phrase ‘pole sitter’.

Now F1 wants to trial another new experiment at this years Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, which is aimed at curbing the amount of tyres that are used over a Grand Prix weekend.

The change will see the number of sets available to each driver restricted from 13 to 11, with plans to have six available for qualifying and five between practice sessions and the race.

Perez: It’s just for the show

Drivers have since voiced their opinions on the proposed change, with Sergio Perez claiming that it is “all about the show” and that nothing should be changed.

“I just think it’s for the show. I think we don’t need that when you see the qualifying we had today, how close everything was,” he told media.

“We do not really need to change anything. But we’ll see, we’ll see once we try it but I don’t think there’s a need to change something that is working well.”

Max Verstappen added that he hopes the weather will not be cold in Imola, as the change effectively forces drivers into using the hardest compound tyre over the weekend.

“I hope it’s not going to be cold in Imola, otherwise it’s going to be quite tricky, but it’s the same for everyone, but I don’t think we need to actually do these kinds of things in qualifying,” he explained.

“I don’t really see the benefit of it. It’s better if we make sure that all the cars are close to each other and more competitive instead of spicing things up in that way, which I think is probably for the show.”

Charles Leclerc was more optimistic about the proposed changes, but shared the cautious viewpoints of Perez and Verstappen.

“I don’t feel there was a need for change for that, but let’s try and see,” he added.

What do you think about Formula 1’s proposed qualifying changes? Leave your comments below!

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