F1 is said to be trialling a “revised qualifying format” in 2023 as it seeks to use only specific tyres compounds in each segment of the event. Large changes haven’t been made to Qualifying since 2006, with the event consisting of three segments, and after each of the first two segments, the slowest cars are knocked out from attempting a faster lap.
All 20 cars take part in Q1, Q2 sees only the top 15 take part, and Q3 sees only the top 10 set lap times. Yes, we’ve seen small changes to the format like removing the rule that forces those in the top 10 to start the race using the same tyre compound they qualified on during Q2, but now a large change is incoming.
A set of the softest tyre compounds will always be saved for Q3, and during a Sprint weekend, the softest compound is compulsory during the whole of Qualifying. But now a “revised qualifying format” is coming, and this is what it consists of:
Drivers can only use the hard compound in Q1, the medium compound in Q2, and the soft compound in Q3. If it’s wet, and this is declared by the race director, any compound can be used.
Two events of the 2023 calendar will test this new rule, and will evaluate “whether the revisions are suitable for subsequent championships”, while also pushing for teams to reduce the number of tyres they’re using over a weekend to only 11 sets compared to the original 13. This difference will see drivers get an extra set of hard tyres (three in total), an extra set of mediums (four in total), and three fewer sets of softs (four in total).
The number of sets of intermediate and wet tyres will stay the same at four and three respectively.
This is an example of F1 wanting to carry out more real-world experiments as the sport looks to better itself over the next coming years. Expect to see more changes as we go.