Formula 1 team bosses are to consider a change to the tire rules for qualifying, to address the controversy about cars not running in Q3 this year.
Sources have revealed that a plan to increase the allocation of tires for the final round of qualifying has been added to the agenda for this week's Formula 1 Commission meeting that takes place in Geneva on Thursday.
Questions have been raised about the spectacle of qualifying being ruined by teams deliberately not running in the final grid shootout session because they want to keep fresher tires for the race. Interestingly, the idea to add the Q3 tire issue to the F1 Commission did not come from tire supplier Pirelli, which held talks with team representatives in India last week to discuss the issue. The outcome of that meeting was that Pirelli and the teams agreed that the current tire regulations are fine as they are, with both parties understanding why Q3 tire-saving had become common practice.
"We had a good collaborative meeting with the teams, and at the moment their opinion is that there is nothing wrong with Q3," said Pirelli's director of motorsport Paul Hembery. "They feel it adds a strategic element to Q3. Plus, with teams battling in that mid ground there, the margins are very fine and they feel that it is a new element of qualifying.
"If they are happy there is not a lot we can do, and we have to go along with their wishes. What we have said, however, is that if that view changes or the sport feels there has to be a change, then we will support any change as we need to.
"We will see what happens at the F1 Commission meeting. It has been raised by somebody else, perhaps. We will see what everyone has to say when we have the opportunity to work together."
Hembery said that there were numerous ways that the Q3 situation could be resolved, but felt it better the matter was discussed properly at the F1 Commission.
"We have been through millions of permutations, which can include just substituting the sets of Q3 tires overnight. There are all sorts of different ways of doing it, but at the moment we are not being asked to come up with any solutions as teams are happy with where it is."
When asked if Pirelli was happy for things to remain as they are, Hembery said: "As long as teams explain why there is that tactical intrigue, so fans can understand it better. You can imagine a lot of people think we write the tire rules, so we get caught up in that."