Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc reject FIA’s new 2023 F1 rule
F1 preview: A lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix
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Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc have united to reject a new F1 rule change set to be introduced this season. The pair are against plans to change the current qualifying format at a series of races in 2023.
The new structure will see drivers limited to one compound of tyre during each session in a slight alteration to the current rules. It means drivers will only be allowed to use hard tyres in Q1, medium rubber in Q2 and softs in Q3.
The decision was announced ahead of the new campaign but bosses have now confirmed the system will make its debut at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola in May. However, Verstappen was quick to call the new regulation unnecessary.
The Red Bull star commented: “It’s the same for everyone but I don’t think we actually need to do these kinds of things. I hope it’s not going to be cold in Imola also, otherwise it’s going to be quite tricky.”
Sergio Perez defended his Red Bull team-mate as he made clear the rule was not needed.
It came after one of the closest qualifying sessions in recent years with most of the field separated by less than one second. Perez added: “I just think it’s for the show. I think we don’t need that when you see the qualifying we had today, with how close everything was.”
Leclerc also expressed his reservations at the new format as further details were released in Sakhir. The Monegasque remarked: “I don’t feel there was a need to change that, but let’s try it and see.”
After the trial at Imola, the regulation will be used over one more race weekend in 2023. During these events, the number of slicks available to drivers will drop from 13 to 11.
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However, the new format will not be used at any other Grand Prix with the current free allocation remaining in place at 21 locations.
The FIA will use the experiment to look at the impact on track running. They said this was part of an intention to create a more sustainable use for tyres.
Pirelli boss Mario Isola backed the proposals ahead of the 2023 season, adding the format would make cutbacks and not “disrupt” the sport. He explained: “We got the proposal for next year. It is my favourite scenario. We are talking about durability. Currently, with the current regulations, you have to be careful with the Soft tyre for qualifying and you can’t use it for the race.
“If you allocate two sets of hards for Q1, two sets of mediums for Q2 and two sets of softs for Q3, you still have six sets for the race. That’s perfect. We save a lot of tyres with that, without disrupting the F1 show.”
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