Inside Formula 1’s grand plans to cut down on tire usage this season

If you love motorsports, we are confident you’ll hold a special place in your heart for Formula 1. Whether you are a follower of the rally, Nascar, Superbikes, or one of the other racing disciplines, you’d have to live under a rock for much of 2023 not to realize F1 is enjoying one of the most exciting seasons in living memory.

The current campaign is fast-paced, dramatic, and unpredictable. It has already entertained millions of F1 fans worldwide, attracted a steady stream of new players to the sport, and captured the imagination of a new generation of motorsports enthusiasts.

It hasn’t gone unnoticed by the leading F1 betting apps that offer odds, specials, bonuses, and even free bets. Players can predict the outcome of a Grand Prix or the Driver’s Championship using their smartphone or desktop computer.

F1 tired of the waste

This success comes at a cost, with the sport’s governing body attracting criticism and accusations of being wasteful. Yes, it’s not the most eco-friendly of sports, but things are moving in the right direction. There’s one area all involved in F1 want to improve, and that’s their tire usage.

But how and when will Formula 1 reduce the number of tires used in practice, qualifying, and Grand Prix? Keep reading as we investigate the F1’s new proposed qualifying format that aims to take the choice of the tire away from the driver.

A near miss after flooding

The weather plays a massive part in the outcome of the many stages of an F1 Grand Prix. We were reminded of this recently when a heavy downpour and the resulting flooding caused the cancellation of the Emilia Romagna GP, much to the disappointment of everyone involved.

We were all set for a fantastic race, but Mother Nature has never been one to back down or bend to public demand. And to make matters worse for F1 officials and fans, Emilia Romagna had been previously selected as the ideal GP to trial the intriguing new qualifying format.

It didn’t see the light of day on that occasion, but plans remain with organizers seeking another race to launch a trial that could be decisive to the sport’s long-term future. Let’s examine what changes and whether the F1-following public believes the introductions will improve races.

The finer details

In the past, teams and drivers had a choice of which tires to adopt for Saturday’s hour of racing. Under these new proposals, F1 officials and the safety team will examine the weather forecast before deciding which types of tires are best to use. In short, tires are no longer optional but mandatory, and teams must keep this in mind when planning their race tactics and stops.

Let’s look at a quick example of how that may work when the trial comes into force later this year. Suppose the track condition is dry with a good forecast for Sunday’s Grand Prix. In that instance, all drivers will go with hard tires for the first qualifying round. They’ll all switch to a medium tire for the second qualifying round.

All cars must use the remaining soft tires when lining up for the official Grand Prix on Sunday following two days of practice and qualifying. It’s slightly different for driving in wet conditions, and if the forecast doesn’t offer much hope of a dry race, all teams and pilots will revert to their tire type of choice.

How the trial will affect F1 preparation

We’ll now see rain play an even more significant part in the season, but will these new guidelines pass the trial period and become official? With the emphasis on being less wasteful, drivers will embrace any move or rule change to help the sport achieve this. It’s unlikely they’ll have too much choice.

How much of an impact will the trial have on tire usage? That won’t be evident for a while, but it will reduce the number of tires used on the weekend. Teams will see the number of dry tires permitted cut from 13 to 11, saving at least 160 tires.

The trial will likely be a success, and if the rules are in the sport’s laws before next season, it’ll save 3680 tires in the 2024 campaign.

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