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Pirelli: Qualifying less of an issue this season

Pirelli boss Paul Hembery says drivers sitting out qualifying was less of an issue thanks to the close nature of racing in 2012
Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery has reiterated that there are no plans to introduce a qualifying tyre into F1 next year, stating that he felt the issue of drivers electing not to run in Q3 to save tyres was less of an issue in 2012.

Pirelli's first year back in F1 in 2011 saw a number of occasions where drivers decided not to run in the final stage of qualifying to give themselves a free choice of tyres for race day – a move which didn't go down well with fans watching on trackside.

It led to calls from some quarters to see a qualifying tyre introduced, although the issue was less prevalent in 2012 as teams had little option but to run thanks to the close nature of the field.

Speaking to GPUpdate, Hembery responded to questions about whether a qualifying tyre was an option for the future, although he said it was something that teams would have to want.

“It won't happen next year,” he said. “Maybe going forward, if we renew our contract for 2014, then it's something we could offer.

“At the end of the day it's down to the teams to decide. The qualifying format is actually a good one - it works very well. The only area it doesn't work is if we do have people saving tyres, which as a company we get criticised for. Our view is we'd prefer to find a solution to that; it could be extra sets of our existing product or preferably from our point of view to produce a qualifying tyre. It would put a little bit more spice into it.

“It's down to the teams and at the moment they feel that even when cars aren't running it creates a tactical interest and it's not an issue.

“Our view is that the fans want to see people running and they don't understand teams not running in qualifying. It was less prevalent this year as the cars were so close together and you really needed to run because with two tenths you could make up maybe four or five positions. It forced people out because row position is still very, very important in F1. From that point of view, it probably wasn't such an issue compared to last year.”

Tagged as: Pirelli , tyres , Paul Hembery , Hembery

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Nanbawan - Unregistered

December 08, 2012 11:36 PM

The ideal would indeed be a tire that adds to the sheer tactical aspect of racing without resorting to being somewhat of a lottery like it had been the case at the beginning of 2012. The day we see one of the contender pull a rabbit off his hat and win thanks to pitting once more and putting on the quicker compound, or the opposite -but it's less rare - ie staying on and skipping one stop. The day we can have all these tactics available with a reasonable chance of working, then the goal will be reached. I can fully understand how difficult it can be to design control tyres like that for 11 different cars without being either to conservative like Bridgestone were or even Pirelli when the titles were on the line or being completely unpredictable.

brendan - Unregistered

December 09, 2012 11:09 PM

The year tyre changes were band was brilliant racing, i do wish people actually remember the year rather than a myth. The last 15 laps were brilliant in that season. Imola, europe, suzuka instantly spring to mind. Great season. Fuel changes spread the racing. One stops spread racing. But going a whole race on one tyre made strategy, skill and racing all come to the fore.

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