The Q2 race tyre rule has been in place since 2014. However, Ross Brawn believes that it had a disadvantageous effect on the sport.
The Q2 race tyre rule requires drivers who qualify in the top 10 to start the race on tyres they used in Q2. Whoever sets the fastest lap in Q2 needs to start the race using the same tyres.
The cars that make the cut-off for Q3 on hard tyres than their rivals gain a strategic advantage. Meanwhile, those who fail to reach Q3 benefit from a free tyre choice.
The teams who suffer disadvantages from the rule have often registered complaints. One of the critics is the two-time world champion, Fernando Alonso. He said, “they try to invent one rule that could benefit the show and they just benefit the big teams.”
Absolutely hate the Q2/race start tyre rule. Top 6 on the same strategy and therefore all pitting around the same lap in the race. Whereas if you ended up 6th after Q3 you might gamble by starting on something different. Literally the worst rule in F1 right now. #MexicoGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/e5kdzC2zpm
— Tom Bellingham (@TommyWTF1) October 27, 2018
Ross Brawn wants to change the rule for future seasons
Brawn also believes that one of the unfortunate things about the rule is that it gives faster drivers even more advantageous situation because they can easily choose whichever tyre they want for Q2. Whereas those who are desperate to get into the final qualifying need to run a soft tyre.
“So it’s had a slightly contrary effect, I would argue. I don’t think removing it is a big issue. It is certainly something we’re looking at for the future, whether that Q2 race tyre is still something that overall is better or worse for the race,” said Brawn.
A rethink of the rule has come up as a result of F1’s sprint qualifying format experiment. In sprint events, all drivers have a free tyre choice for the Grand Prix.
Furthermore, Brawn is encouraged by the progress of F1’s official tyre supplier Pirelli’s development work. The manufacturer will launch its new 18-inch tyres for the sport’s change in wheel format next year.
“One of the things Pirelli have been trying to do is to make the tyres less thermo-sensitive. They want to have the ability for a driver to push a tyre and, if they go too far, for it to come back. That’s a little difficult with the tyres we have now. And they seem to be making progress in that respect,” said Brawn.
“So we think the drivers are starting to enjoy the characteristics of the new tyres. But until we fix the final spec and we see how they’re working with the new car then we can’t properly assess it,” he further added.