FIA Adapts F1 Sprint Qualifying Rules to Address Azerbaijan Grand Prix Issue

FIA Sets New Sprint Rule Image
Source: PlanetF1

FIA adapts F1 Sprint qualifying rules to address Azerbaijan Grand Prix issue. Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, has swiftly implemented a rule change for F1 Sprint Qualifying following an “unintended consequence” that occurred during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The modification aims to address a situation where teams could potentially run intermediate tires on a dry track during the Saturday qualifying session. This adjustment seeks to ensure fairness and prevent farcical scenarios in future sprint events.

FIA’s Sprint Rule Change

To address the unintended consequences observed during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the FIA swiftly took action by modifying Article 30.5.h of the Formula 1 sporting regulations. The change allows any set of soft tires to be used in the final segment of the Sprint Qualifying shootout (SQ3), effectively eliminating the possibility of running intermediates on a dry track. This decision, made after consultations with stakeholders and obtaining necessary approvals, aims to maintain fairness and uphold the integrity of the sprint qualifying format.

Background on the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Incident

Lando Norris and Yuki Tsunoda Should Use Intermediates Image
Source: PlanetF1

Specifically, drivers were required to use new medium tires in SQ1 and SQ2, followed by new soft tires in SQ3. However, teams discovered a loophole, allowing them to exhaust their soft tire allocation before the Saturday session. This resulted in the possibility of running intermediate tires on a dry track. The incident involved McLaren’s Lando Norris and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, both of whom faced the prospect of using intermediates had they progressed to SQ3.

Implications and Reactions

The rule change by the FIA regarding F1 Sprint Qualifying has significant implications for teams and drivers. With the modified regulations, teams can now strategically utilize their soft tire allocation, even if they have used them up before Saturday’s session. This allows drivers to participate in the final segment of the qualifying shootout (SQ3) using already used soft tires. The adjustment has garnered support from stakeholders and is seen as a necessary step to ensure fairness and avoid farcical scenarios in future sprint events.

Conclusion

The FIA’s swift response and rule modification for F1 Sprint Qualifying following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix incident demonstrate the commitment to refining and enhancing the new format. By allowing drivers to use any set of soft tires in the final segment of the qualifying shootout, the FIA has addressed the unintended consequences and avoided the possibility of running intermediates on a dry track. This adjustment ensures fairness and upholds the integrity of the sprint qualifying format, showcasing the ongoing evolution of Formula 1 to provide exciting and competitive racing for fans worldwide.

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