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Changes to F1 Qualifying to be Tested at Imola

Rules changes pertaining to tyre usage in qualifying and set tyre amounts per weekend have been revised in Imola 2023....

There are a few changes being considered for qualifying and a form of the revised rules is set to appear at Imola 2023. These revisions concern tyre usage in a bid to both reduce Pirelli’s carbon footprint and provide entertaining sessions.

Currently, the drivers are able to use whatever tyre compound they wish in whatever qualifying session. Typically this has meant the teams gravitate towards the soft tyre for its short warm-up window.

At Imola this will change so that drivers will be forced to use Hard tyres during Q1, Mediums in Q2, and Softs in Q1.

The length of each session will remain unchanged and the number of dry weather tyres available to each driver will be reduced from 13 to 11. That’s three sets of Hard tyres, four Mediums, and four Softs available across the entire weekend.

This will not affect Intermediate or Wet tyres.

This would reduce the number of tyres per season to just 46 sets, saving two sets of tyres per car each weekend. Considering there are 20 cars on the grid, it would save almost 1,000 tyres from being created or shipped, reducing Pirelli’s carbon footprint.

These changes were agreed to last year under the “Alternative Tyre Allocation” plan with input from Pirelli, the Commercial Rights Holder, the teams, and the FIA.

These rules changes will be implemented in another race this season though the track has not been announced. Data will be gathered for a potential further implementation in 2024.

Additionally, Pirelli have announced the introduction of a new tyre specification for all races starting at the British Grand Prix. This isn’t just for the sake of entertainment but to improve performance on certain high tyre load circuits.

The teams supply Pirelli with their expected performance data which Pirelli uses to create tyres capable of withstanding the expected loads. The problem is that the teams are out-performing their expected data, particularly in Miami where the pole time was almost two seconds faster than it was in 2022.

The second half of this season will feature plenty of high tyre load circuits including Silverstone, Spa, and Zandvoort so Pirelli sought approval from the FIA to introduce the upgraded tyres in Silverstone. These upgraded tyres will form the basis of the 2024 design. The teams will get to test these tyres during the practice sessions at the Spanish Grand Prix in June.

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