Devised ostensibly to improve F1’s sustainability credentials by reducing the freight required per event, the tyre allocation for each driver has dropped from 13 sets to 11 for Budapest.
In addition, compounds have been mandated for qualifying. The hard Pirelli will be enforced for Q1, mediums for Q2 and then the softest rubber for the Q3 shootout for pole position.
The plan to introduce a different tire allocation was initially scheduled to debut at the Emilia Romagna GP. Unfortunately, the race was called off due to flooding. As a result, the new allocation will now be tested for the first time in Hungary this weekend and will also be used at Monza.
If the experiment is successful, it will probably be used more widely in 2024.
However, drivers such as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton have expressed their criticism regarding the initial feedback, stating that the overall excitement of the event is diminished due to teams completing fewer laps during practice sessions.
Verstappen was asked to evaluate the performance of the new Red Bull upgrades – sidepod inlet, engine cover, floor, brake ducts – making their debut in Hungary after he ran to 11th in FP2.
But the reigning double champion instead took aim at the tyre rules for forcing fans to miss out.
He stated that it is quite challenging to provide a comment on the matter. We will carefully examine the data to ensure that all correlations are accurate since we have not utilized many tire sets today.
“With this new format, you are just super limited with the tyre sets that you can use, and I didn’t want to use them today to at least have a bit more of a better preparation tomorrow.
“It’s quite unfortunate – with numerous individuals present, you hardly engage in much physical activity.”
“We need to explore ways to enhance this, as we are effectively preserving tires, which I believe is not the right approach.”
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Hamilton, the driver for Mercedes, expressed agreement with the sentiment and suggested that instead of focusing on other aspects, the rule makers should prioritize finding ways to reduce costs related to wet tyres.
He stated that he only had one set of tires for the session. Therefore, the format change made for this weekend is not a significant improvement. It simply implies that they will have less time for practice, which is not ideal.
There are numerous unused wet tires that I believe are discarded after the weekend, a significant amount.
Perhaps they should consider exploring an alternative approach instead of detracting from the fans’ experience by reducing track time.
Kevin Magnussen, the driver for Haas, suggested an alternative idea. He proposed that if Formula 1 intends to reduce tire usage in order to minimize transport emissions, they should reconsider the entire schedule.
He stated that Friday was somewhat limited due to the tire circumstances, which affected everyone equally.
“If F1 drops to 11 sets of tyres, it would be reasonable to reduce the sessions. Perhaps only one or two practice sessions would suffice.”