- Mercedes news
Brawn satisfied with qualifying rules
Ross Brawn says that the current qualifying rules are positive, even when they lead to drivers not setting a lap time in Q3.
Pirelli has voiced its concern that fans are left without on-track action during the final part of qualifying when the likes of Renault, Force India, Sauber and Toro Rosso make it through and don't run in order to save tyres. Mercedes has also used that strategy from time to time, and Brawn says that while it isn't the best situation, most of the fans are focused on the battle for pole position and then benefit from the teams with optimal strategies being more competitive in the race.
"I think there is two ways of looking at it," Brawn told ITV. "One is that, perversely, it can add some interest in certain ways: you can have the cars at the back of that pack with new tyres and more opportunity perhaps in the race. Our situation at the moment is we've got a gap between ourselves and the top three teams and therefore it's an incentive for us to try and save tyres to be stronger in the race.
"If we closed that gap down then of course we'd have a bit of a run at it. There are ways and means [to eradicate the issue] but I wouldn't always look at what's going on now as completely negative. The crowd are interested in who's setting pole and having some cars at the back of the top 10 with new tyres mixes things up a bit. So it can have some positives."
One potential solution has been the idea of the return of qualifying tyres, but Brawn says it could be as simple as just replacing the final set of tyres used on a Saturday.
"I think if you want to eliminate it you've probably got to have a system where the tyres you use on a Saturday in Q3 you give back and you have replaced by Pirelli on a Sunday morning so that there's no incentive to save tyres in Q3. I can't think of many other ways that we could avoid the benefit that comes from strategies that there are."