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Pirelli: Qualifying less of an issue in 2012

7 December 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.”