The F1 teams have agreed to introduce an extra strategic element to the 2010 races by forcing leading drivers to start races on the same tyres that they qualified on.
Already facing the refuelling ban this season – the biggest change in race tactics since 1993, when refuelling was last not used – this rule will impact how teams approach qualifying as well.
The tweak still hasn’t been committed to regulations, as it has to be ratified by the F1 Commission and the World Motor Sports Council. This should be a mere formality.
The majority of teams present at last week’s Sporting Working Group meeting voted in favour of the rule, which will require the top ten cars that make it through to Q3 to start the race on the same tyres that they set their fastest Q3 time on.
This will open up more tactical possibilities. Do teams gamble on sacrificing the fastest possible time in Q3 by running a more durable, but theoretically slower, tyre in order to have a better chance in the race? Or do teams choose a tyre that is quicker over a single lap to secure a good grid position, if it runs the risk of compromising their race pace?
Hopefully this rule tweak will mix up the tactics throughout the grid and lead to more exciting races!