Gené: Q3 format must be changed
1 March 2012 – Marc Gené has called for a qualifying regulation change in F1, believing the current Q3 format unfairly deprives fans of on-track action. On numerous occasions last year, drivers – usually those who would not expect to achieve more than seventh place on the grid – would remain in their garages in order to save tyres for Sunday’s race.
Whereas those who are eliminated in Q1 or Q2 (11th place downwards) may change tyres before the start of Sunday’s Grand Prix, anybody in the top ten shootout must start the race with the set on which they end qualifying; this led to several Q3 non-attendances in 2011.
“One thing which must be done is that we must change Q3 under the current qualifying format,” Gené, who last raced in F1 with Williams in 2004 and is still part of Ferrari, said during Wednesday night’s FOTA Fans Forum in Barcelona.
“We can’t keep having these tyre games, with sometimes as few as six cars on-track at the end. It’s not good for the sport or the fans. It has to change – I’m not sure how, but something has to be done about it.”
The current qualifying format, split into three phases, was introduced at the start of 2006 and has been subject to a number of alterations since.