Pirelli boss outlines impact new F1 qualifying tyre rules will have on grid

Formula 1 will introduce new qualifying tyre regulations at the 2023 Monaco GP


Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Mario Isola believes the new qualifying format where teams are designated tyre compounds will not dramatically shake up the F1 starting grid.

Formula 1 had planned to use a new qualifying format at Imola before the race’s cancellation, with drivers set to start Q1 on the hard compound tyres only, Q2 on mediums and the Q3 top 10 shootout on the faster softs.

With teams obliged to use all three Pirelli compounds, the number of sets used during a weekend will drop from 13 to 11, potentially shaking up the look of the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

“It could happen because the qualifying [format] is new,” Isola exclusively told Total-Motorsport.com, when asked if the new format could shake up the F1 grid. “But to be honest, I don’t think it will happen because it’s the same for everybody.

“So it is not because you run Q1 with a hard compound. The faster car is no more the fastest. In the past, there was the obligation to start the race with a tire using Q2.

“Now, they are obliged to come to the qualifying with several sets of tyres is quite high compared to what you need for the race. 

“That means you may have only one set of medium or hards. I want to go with more sets of softs in qualifying, or I save a set for the race, and that’s not the right approach.”

Reintroduction of refuelling consequences

Since 2021, F1 has been looking at various ways of improving the spectacle of a Grand Prix weekend, from doubling the number of sprint races from three six and potentially 12 in the 2024 season, to cutting down on practice sessions.

One idea which had been discussed was the return of refuelling with former FIA president Jean Todt, asking F1 to reconsider it for 2021 before plans were scrapped.

“If you reintroduce, refuelling [it’s] a completely different situation, we have to redesign the tire,” said Isola. “Because with the refuelling, you have a car that is lighter, always. 

“So instead of carrying 110kg of fuel at the beginning of the race, which obviously has a big impact on performance or degradation of the tire. You have a car that is 40kg or something like that. 

“That means that we have to redesign all the range, which softer compounds. So it’s difficult to compare a situation where refuelling is not there with a situation with fuel.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
- Advertisment -


Colton Herta wins the IndyCar 2024 Grand Prix of Toronto | Penske Entertainment: Travis Hinkle

Colton Herta Triumphs in Toronto, Ending 40-Race Winless Streak

Michael Andretti’s jubilant reaction following the IndyCar Grand Prix of Toronto at Exhibition Place was unmistakable as Colton Herta...
Pascal Wehrlein celebrates winning the Formula E championship at the London E-Prix | Formula E

Victory and redemption: Pascal Wehrlein’s road to becoming Formula E champion

Following a wide-open battle that boiled down to the very last race of the 2024 season, Pascal Wehrlein officially...
Mitch Evans looks on at the 2024 Portland E-Prix | Formula E

Evans hits out at Jaguar: Team were working against me in Formula E finale

Mitch Evans feels his Jaguar team were working against him during the Formula E finale in London as he...
Pascal Wehrlein celebrates winning 2024 Formula E championship | Formula E

London E-Prix Results 2024 – Formula E Round 16

Pascal Wehrlein emerged victorious in one of the most dramatic races in Formula E history, securing his maiden Drivers'...
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes battle for track position at Turn 2 during the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen escapes crash penalty: Blames Lewis Hamilton

Max Verstappen blames Lewis Hamilton for turning in too early for their Hungaroring crash on July 21 as the...
Lando Norris in action at the 2024 Hungarian GP | McLaren

F1 Standings after 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix

Oscar Piastri secured his first Formula 1 victory at the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix amid internal McLaren drama with...
Porsche driver Pascal Wehrlein after winning Round 15 at the London E-Prix | Formula E

Wehrlein wins 2024 Formula E title after gripping London E-Prix

An unbelievable end to the 2024 Formula E season saw Pascal Wehrlein crowned champion at the London E-Prix after...
Pascal Wehrlein and Mitch Evans in action at the 2024 London E-Prix | Formula E

Formula E 2024 LIVE: London E-Prix Finale – Wehrlein becomes champion after huge drama

Welcome to this Total-Motorsport.com Formula E LIVE BLOG for Round 16 from the 2024 London E-Prix! This Sunday, we bring you real-time updates,...
Lando Norris during practice at the 2024 Hungarian GP | McLaren F1 Team

Norris blames McLaren for team orders debacle: Issues warning

Lando Norris blamed McLaren for the team orders chaos at the 2024 Hungarian GP as he waited until Lap...
George Russell in action at the 2024 Hungarian GP | Mercedes

F1 2024 Hungarian GP – Fastest Lap

George Russell set the fastest lap of the 2024 Hungarian GP with a 1:20.305 on a weekend when he...
- Advertisment -