Friday, August 12, 2011
No need for qualifying tires in 2012
Pirelli has proposed that in 2012 teams can utilize a special qualifying tire. Pirelli motorsport director, Paul Hembery told AUTOSPORT that they have offered the teams to bring the special tires and was waiting to hear back. "We've put the idea of qualifying tires to the teams and we will get their feedback; if they don't want to do it, we won't do it."
It must be said Pirelli have done a good job so far. Also, it has been very active/vocal as a tire supplier in their return to F1 this year. They have previous advocated for qualifying changes, had to reaffirm that their tire choices would be neutral and not advantage any one team, advocate the return of in-season testing, and actively sought feedback from teams.
All well and good, but this latest proposal for qualifying tires is unnecessary. Parc Ferme restrictions, where teams can not change the car after qualifying starts, is at odds on the whole concept of outright qualifying pace. Teams obviously need to have race setups and not qualifying setups. Sure teams can get the qualifying glory, but they would just ruin their races. I doubt the FIA would like that as it leads to the slippery slope of other qualifying only parts which will only escalate costs. This was the case in the past.
I think if Pirelli want to produce more tires, they should advocate that teams just get more sets then they do now. This year teams are restricted to 11 sets of tires whereas in recent years they were allocated 14 sets per team. This reduction in sets has led to "tire hoarding" for strategic purposes but some teams.
Obviously a benefit of the qualifying tires are that they would be faster over a single lap; the downside they will only be any good for that single lap. Rather wasteful and can lead to more complaints from drivers about being impeded on their qualifying lap by traffic; no one wants that. I would say that if Pirelli wants them to go faster, advocate that the minimum weight goes back to 605 kgs or something similar from the current 640 kgs.
They have done a good job, but lets keep the tinkering to a minimum for the time being as F1 currently has a decent on track show going.