F1 rulebook update confirms removal of Q2 tire rule
Team officials have been discussing for several years the removal of the rule, which had been in place since 2014 and required all drivers who reached Q3 to start the race with their Q2 set of tyres.
The rule was intended to create an extra layer of danger as it would encourage some teams to try and qualify for Q3 on a harder set of tires to gain the advantage of running a longer first stint.
But the advantage of the leading teams meant that this rarely led to much variation in strategy or opportunities being given to the chasing pack. At some races the conditions even saw all the riders opting for the medium compound tire to advance to the final stage of qualifying.
Following the introduction of F1 sprint race weekends last year which removed the Q2 tire rule it has now been extended to remove the rule for all races meaning all drivers will have the free choice of starting tire.
In the latest edition of the 2022 sporting regulations published by the FIA on Friday, the article stipulating that “at the start of the race each car qualified for Q3 must be equipped with the tires with which the driver achieved his best time during Q2 ” had been crossed out.
Free choice of starting tire has only happened in recent years when qualifying was wet
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
This will now create an extra layer of intrigue before each race as teams ponder which tire to start the race with their cars in the top 10.
In previous years, this free choice was only granted when Q2 was run in wet conditions with intermediate or wet tyres.
Along with the removal of the Q2 tire rule, the updated sporting regulations also offered a first change to the safety car and race restart rules, as well as an explanation of how the new technical “show and tell” of the FIA.
Further changes are possible during meetings between the sporting advisory committee and the F1 commission in the coming weeks before the season opener in Bahrain on March 20.