The FIA is considering making changes to the current F1 qualifying format in order to make it more entertaining for fans.
Rapidly-degrading Pirelli tyres have seen a trend emerge in recent seasons where drivers opt not to set a time in Q3 in order to save tyres, with the current regulation stating that drivers in the top ten must start the race on the same set of tyres they set their best time on.
As a result, there are often occasions where a number of drivers remain in the garage rather than attempting to set a time, therefore being able to choose which tyres they start the race on. The FIA is now trying to ensure that all drivers will run in the final part of qualifying through a number of potential tweaks.
The main change is a proposal that drivers must start the race on the set of tyres they set their best Q2 time on, giving them freedom to attempt to set a time in Q3 without penalty. Another option is for the ten drivers in Q3 to receive an extra set of tyres for use in that session.
The FIA is also proposing that Q3 is extended from 10 to 12 minutes in order to ensure every driver has enough time for two timed runs, while Q1 could be reduced accordingly from 20 to 18 minutes.
The teams and the FIA are set to discuss the proposals at the second test in Bahrain on February 21, with any changes to the format requiring ratification from the World Motor Sport Council before the first race in Australia.