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Pirelli considering qualifying tyres

ESPNF1 Staff
August 12, 2011 « 2014 engines will still be 'special' - Renault Sport | »
Pirelli is considering creating a qualifying tyre for the future © Sutton Images

Pirelli is considering reintroducing qualifying-specific tyres next season, but only if it gets approval from the teams.

Qualifying tyres were last used in Formula One in 1991 and were designed to give drivers maximum performance for just one lap. They were developed during a period of competition between tyre manufacturers and banned by the FIA when Pirelli left the sport and Good Year remained as the sole tyre supplier.

"We've put the idea of qualifying tyres to the teams and we will get their feedback," Hembery told Autosport magazine. "If they don't want to do it, we won't do it. It might be a step too far for next year and too much for the teams to take on board, but it's something that we have offered.

"We know that the public likes the idea of a qualifying tyre and drivers rather like the thrill of having a qualifying tyre and chasing that ultimate lap. It's a one-shot, zero-mistake tyre so it builds up the tension. It would be an extreme, one-hit tyre, two seconds a lap quicker."

The plan could be a solution to the problem of drivers staying in the pits during qualifying sessions in order to save tyres for the race. On several occasions this year, drivers in the final session of qualifying have opted not to set a time in the belief that an extra set of fresh option tyres is worth more than an extra grid slot on Sunday. What's more the battle for pole has often been cut short as one car is clearly more dominant than the others and rivals choose to save tyres.

However, Bernie Ecclestone has a different take on the problem. "The solution for that is very simple: to provide more sets of tyres to the drivers," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport earlier this week.