New Formula 1 Qualifying Format to be Trialed in Hungary

News, Racing I By Justin Cornelison I July 18, 2023
New Formula 1 Qualifying Format at Hungarian GP

Pirelli and the FIA will trial a new Formula 1 qualifying format, known as the Alternative Tire Allocation (ATA), at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix. In a bid to enhance sustainability and provide more strategic options, Pirelli Motorsport Director Mario Isola has confirmed the implementation of this novel system, which will see teams obliged to use specific tire compounds throughout the qualifying hour.

Pirelli will provide only 11 sets of tires for the entire three-day event at the Hungaroring. This reduced tire allocation is designed to promote sustainability and reduce waste. With a limited number of tires at their disposal, teams will need to carefully manage their usage throughout the weekend.

Under the new ATA system, drivers will tackle the first qualifying session, Q1, on a set of Hard tires. This compound offers more durability and is expected to provide a solid foundation for the initial stages of qualifying. As the qualifying session progresses into Q2, drivers will be required to switch to the Medium tires. This compound strikes a balance between durability and performance. Finally, the top 10 drivers will battle it out for pole position in Q3, utilizing the softest compound available.

The introduction of the ATA system aims to introduce more variety and strategic options into the qualifying sessions. By using different tire compounds at various stages, teams will have to adapt their strategies accordingly. This change has the potential to shake up the grid and create exciting overtaking opportunities during the race.

In addition to fostering strategic diversity, the ATA system also contributes to sustainability efforts. By reducing the number of tire sets from 13 to 11, the new format saves two sets of dry tires over the course of the weekend. This reduction in tire usage aligns with the sport’s commitment to environmental responsibility and resource management.

The trial of the ATA system is set to continue at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza after the Hungarian Grand Prix. Following these two events, the FIA, Formula 1, and the teams will evaluate the success and impact of the new Formula 1 qualifying format. If proven successful and well-received by the stakeholders, the ATA system could become a permanent feature in future seasons, adding another layer of excitement and strategic depth to the sport.

Originally planned for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the trial of the ATA system had to be rescheduled due to the unfortunate cancellation of the event caused by severe flooding in the area. However, the focus now shifts to the Hungarian Grand Prix, where teams and fans alike eagerly await the implementation of this new Formula 1 qualifying format.

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