Renault: Silly, stupid Q2 tyre rule cost us

Michelle Foster


Cyril Abiteboul isn’t a fan of the Q2 tyre rule, calling it “silly” and “stupid” after it Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo points in Abu Dhabi.

The Renault team-mates made it through to Q3 at the Yas Marina circuit, qualifying seventh and ninth, meaning they had to start the race on their Q2 tyres: the softs.

Those right behind them, though, had free choice.

That gave the likes of Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat an advantage, both working their way into the top ten at the expense of the Enstone drivers.

“It was more or less the worst scenario in terms of a race,” Abiteboul told Autosport.

“In the Constructors’ Championship it was fine, and we secured [fifth].

“But again we saw a demonstration of that silly regulation of having to start on the soft tyres, which gives such an advantage to the guys behind.

“It was agreed in the strategy group, everyone agreed. Then when it comes to a vote, all the arrangements seemed to come back, and frankly I’m exasperated by that.

“There was a lobby from the top teams and their junior teams to stop a change – because it’s a regulation that was engineered by the top teams to protect them.

“I don’t think they need it, but it’s an extra protection.

“It’s also something that’s helping teams that are customers or are affiliated to the top teams, and the ones that are squeezed are what I call the middle class – it’s us and McLaren in most cases.

“But it’s not because it’s sometimes to our advantage that we should keep it.

“It’s a stupid regulation, it needs to go away. No one is doing anything about it, and frankly I am exasperated to see it happening again.”

Formula 1 is considering changing the tyre rule for next season but would need unanimous approval from the teams.

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