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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Norris and Tsunoda first F1 drivers to take dash qualifying gamble

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As revealed by Autosport a loophole has emerged in the new sprint format regulations concerning the utilization of tyres within the shootout.

Drivers are obliged to make use of one set of latest medium tyres in SQ1, one other new set of mediums in SQ2, after which a set of latest softs in SQ3.

The intention was that every one groups must save these three new units to make use of on Saturday.

Nonetheless the foundations as printed left a loophole that meant groups don’t even have to save lots of tyres if they like to make use of them earlier within the weekend.

The related article reads: “Within the interval SQ3 of the dash shootout, as much as one set of dry-weather tyres could also be used, and this should solely be a brand new set of the comfortable specification.”

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The presence of the phrase “could” left a chance for groups who maybe didn’t count on to make SQ3 to make use of up that set of sentimental tyres earlier within the weekend for strategic functions, which is precisely what each Norris and Tsunoda did on Friday.

The McLaren driver progressed via qualifying, taking seventh in Q1 and sixth in Q2. The crew then performed its ‘joker’ through the use of his final set of latest softs for his last run in Q3, serving to him take seventh place for Sunday’s grand prix grid.

Which means underneath the foundations, ought to he get so far as SQ3 on Saturday after the obligatory medium tyre operating within the first two periods, he gained’t have the ability to take part in it. He would as an alternative have to take a seat within the storage and settle for tenth place.

Nonetheless, the technique of utilizing up his softs clearly helped him in Friday’s Q3 session and he’ll probably reap the rewards in Sunday’s predominant occasion.

“It was a aware strategic choice to maximise the grand prix quali end result,” a crew spokesperson advised Autosport.

“There’s much more factors to be scored on Sunday, so it’s the extra vital race to prioritise.”

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04

Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Tsunoda is in the very same state of affairs as Norris, as he too used all of his comfortable tyres, however he did it through a barely totally different route.

Each AlphaTauri drivers used an additional set of sentimental tyres in FP1. The overall concept was to be higher ready for the later qualifying session, though Tsunoda misplaced his first set when he brushed the wall and picked up a puncture.

The ploy didn’t work out for Nyck De Vries, who crashed out on his first lap in Q1.

Nonetheless, Tsunoda took benefit of his further preparation and made good progress, taking tenth place within the first session, seventh in Q2 after which eighth in Q3, which shall be his beginning place for Sunday’s grand prix.

Within the course of he used up all his comfortable tyres which implies that he has no new units left for Saturday’s dash qualifying.

“Though we introduced a number of new aero elements, our anticipated competitiveness based mostly on the final occasions was that we weren’t Q3 materials,” stated AlphaTauri chief race engineer Jonathan Eddolls.

“Because of this, we put quite a lot of effort into quali preparation in FP1 to offer us one of the best likelihood for beginning as excessive up as potential on Sunday the place extra factors can be found. Each drivers ran two units of sentimental and medium tyres in FP1.

“The draw back of our FP1 qualifying preparation meant we had no new tyres remaining for Q3, however Yuki set a implausible lap on the used tyre to complete P8 for the race on Sunday.”

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04

Picture by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Tsunoda harassed that tyres had been a key ingredient of his efficiency.

“That was actually difficult, a tough observe, particularly the tyre was additionally difficult,” he stated. “A lot of the drivers actually struggled for the braking, particularly first sector that entrance tyre just isn’t actually heat, it isn’t prepared sufficient.

“We do as a lot as we are able to to heat up the tyre, however we wrestle so much. So the tyre was actually key, the warm-up.”

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