Abiteboul rues "stupid" Q2 tyre rule keeping its place

09-12-2019 19:30
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
F1 News
Abiteboul rues stupid Q2 tyre rule keeping its place

Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul isn't on board with the current rule about what tyres cars have to start on, with all drivers who make it to Q3 of qualifying forced to start on their used tyres from Q2.

The rule is meant to make the grid more even come raceday, but it does quite the opposite in its current state. Midfield teams who make it to Q3 will almost always have to start on the soft tyre. In most Grands Prix, like the last one in 2019 in Abu Dhabi, it gives the midfield teams a severe disadvantage to the cars starting 11th and lower, who can start on the medium or hard tyre and run longer stints.

In Renault's case, Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg qualified in eighth and 10th respectively at the Yas Marina Circuit. Both finished outside of the points because of an inferior tyre strategy.

“Again we saw a demonstration of that silly regulation of having to start on the soft tyres, which gives such an advantage to the guys behind," Abiteboul told Motorsport.com when quizzed about the rule.

“It was agreed in the Strategy Group, everyone agreed [to get rid of the rule]. Then when it comes to a vote, all the arrangements seemed to come back, and frankly I’m exasperated by that. 

“There was a lobby from the top teams and their junior teams to stop a change, because it’s a regulation that was engineered by the top teams to protect them. I don’t think they need it, but it’s an extra protection."

In most cases, McLaren and Renault are the midfield teams sneaking into Q3 on Saturdays, meaning they're getting the raw end of the deal in those cases. 

"It’s a stupid regulation, it needs to go away. No one is doing anything about it, and frankly I am exasperated to see it happening again.”

For it to change, unanimous agreement was needed, but this wasn't the case for 2021. The earliest it can change at this point is for the 2022 season.

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