F1’s Sprint regulations have again changed ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix in order to overcome issues experienced in Azerbaijan.
New rules were introduced ahead of the Baku event that saw Saturday’s proceedings separated from the Grand Prix, with a new qualifying Shootout introduced to replace what was FP2.
In this Shootout, which determined the grid for the Sprint, drivers had to use new Medium tyres in SQ1 and SQ2 before using new Softs in the final stage.
But teams were not obliged to save a set of new Softs for SQ3 and instead could use up their allocation in the sole practice session and the main qualifying hour on Friday.
This was the case for McLaren’s Lando Norris and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, though only the Briton made it into SQ3. Had both drivers made the final segment of the Shootout, the rules allowed for Intermediate tyres to be used in order to start ninth rather than tenth.
But amendments to the regulations now allow any set of Soft tyres to be used in SQ3.
Race Director Niels Wittich’s event notes read: “In order to avoid the acknowledged unintended consequence whereby in certain situations at Sprint events it becomes attractive to run Intermediate tyres on a dry track, the following amendment to Article 30.5.h of the Formula 1 sporting regulations is made.
“Consultation has occurred with the commercial rights holder, stewards and teams. The agreement of the FIA, the commercial rights holder and nine competitors has been obtained in accordance with Article 1.4.
“Accordingly, my decision is that Article 30.5 h) iv) be modified to read as follows – Article 30.5h iv revised wording:
“In the period SQ3 of the Sprint Shootout, up to one set of dry-weather tyres may be used, and this must only be a set of the Soft specification.”
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