Pirelli looking to stick with ‘much more interesting’ format after Monza trial

Jamie Woodhouse
Pirelli's soft, medium and hard tyres on display at the Hungaroring.

Pirelli tyres

The F1 Commission is reportedly to discuss the possibility of the Alternative Tyre Allocation [ATA] format being extended to all non-sprint rounds in F1 2024.

The Hungarian Grand Prix was the first time that we saw this system in use, where each driver sees their usual 13 Pirelli tyre sets drop to 11 for the race weekend.

In addition to that, the qualifying format is also tweaked with hard tyres mandatory for Q1, mediums in Q2 and softs in Q3, all of this in a bid to boost Formula 1 along in its goal to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Pirelli ATA format could be here to stay

As per a report by the Italian branch of Motorsport.com, a proposal will be submitted to the F1 Commission for the ATA format to cover all non-sprint race weekends as of F1 2024.

The report adds that for simplicity, it may be the case that the 11 tyre sets and mandatory compound use through the three stages of qualifying is also applied for the qualifying and Sprint Shootout sessions of a sprint race weekend.

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The format has certainly split opinions among the Formula 1 drivers, with the likes of Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc critical, while Carlos Sainz and George Russell are among those who see good potential in the initiative.

And it would seem that Pirelli are also very much on the supportive side, with their F1 boss Mario Isolo believing it adds plenty of spice to a qualifying session.

The ATA made its second F1 2023 appearance at the Italian Grand Prix, where Sainz claimed pole for Ferrari in front of their home crowd, with Verstappen only 0.013s adrift and Sainz’s Ferrari team-mate Leclerc 0.067s off his pole time.

“I think it’s working well,” said Isola of the format.

“Then as everything can be perfected, for example by considering an additional set for the FP2 session, reducing the number of tyres available for the race from seven to six.

“Personally I think the qualifying session with this format is much more interesting, because the drivers have to adapt quickly to different grip levels.”

It will be a return to the traditional 13 sets and free choice through qualifying for the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix, where Verstappen will be looking to stretch his already record-breaking run of consecutive victories to 11.

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