The declared goal of new F1 management is that of making the sport more exciting and entertaining. This is why, over the course of the last few years, current CEO Stefano Domenicali and his crew are experimenting with new formats.
After the introduction of the still hotly debated sprint races, F1 made it clear that it would seek to conduct further experiments with its weekend formats, rather than agree on changes without any real-world data.
The leaders of Formula One are thinking to try out a “revised qualifying format” next year, mandating the use of certain tyre compounds in each segment.
Starting from 2006, the qualifying session, normally held on Saturday afternoons is divided into three sections. All 20 drivers take part to Q1, but only the top 15 get into the second part to eventually reduce to ten cars who will proceed into Q3.
Over the years, this format has gone through minor adjustments – for instance, this year, teams can freely choose which compound to use during Q2 and it will not dictate the starting tyre for Sunday’s race.
Now F1 stakeholders have endorsed plans to trial a “revised qualifying format” at up to two events in 2023, for the purpose of “evaluating whether the revisions are suitable for subsequent championships”.
During these tests, drivers will be obliged to use the hard compound in Q1, the medium compound in Q2, and the soft in Q3. If a session is declared wet, any compound may be used.
The goal is also to reduce the number of tyres required on a grand prix weekend – indeed, the revised qualifying format will cut the mandated tyre allocation from 13 sets of slick tyres to 11.
This new allocation rule will imply that each driver will dispose of an extra set of hard tyres (increased to three) and an additional set of mediums (up to four), but lose three sets of soft tyres (decreased to four). The number of intermediates (four sets) and wets (three sets) will remain unaltered.