At the Hungarian Grand Prix next weekend, qualifying will appear a little different.
Formula One, in conjunction with Pirelli, is evaluating a new set of regulations regarding the compounds of tires that teams may use during each qualifying segment. Known as “Alternative Tyre Allocation” (ATA), the number of slippery tire compounds available to teams for the weekend has been reduced from 13 to 11. The tires will be separated into three hard, four medium, and four flexible varieties.
During qualifying, teams are restricted in their use of dry-weather compounds. Teams must use the hard compound in Q1, then the medium compound in Q2, and finally the gentle compound in Q3.
If race officials determine that the track conditions are “wet,” teams may choose from a variety of compounds.
In May, F1 was scheduled to debut this format at the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna, but the race was canceled due to flooding in the region. Now, qualifying will be modified for the first time at the Hungaroring.
Prior to the May race at Imola, Mario Isola, director of Pirelli Motorsport, outlined how the new rules contributed to F1’s sustainability objectives.
“At Imola, we will be testing a new regulation that requires teams to use a different type of compound for each of the three sessions, with hards fitted for Q1, mediums for Q2, and softs for Q3,” said Pirelli Motorsport Director Mario Isola.
This reduces the number of sets of dried tires that each driver has available for the entire event from 13 to 11, thereby reducing the environmental impact caused by the production and transportation of the tires.
This will be the ATA’s first of two trials. The second test for this qualifying format will be the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in September.