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F1 removes long-standing qualifying rule for 2022

Formula 1 has scrapped a long-standing requirement regarding tyre use for drivers starting a race from the top 10 positions.

Formula 1 drivers who have qualified in the top 10 will no longer have to start the race on the tyres they used in the second part of qualifying. The rule, which was rumoured to be on its way out in recent months, has been confirmed as removed in the latest version of the FIA's 2022 Sporting Regulations. Article 30.5 (L) of the new regulations outlines the former rule, stating that at the start of a Grand Prix "each car which qualified for Q3 must be fitted with the tyres with which the driver set his fastest time in Q2". This rule has now been struck off, meaning it will no longer apply for the 2022 season.

What was the purpose of the tyre rule?

The intent of the Q2 tyre rule was to attempt to encourage strategic variance, by offering teams the chance to get through to Q3 on a harder tyre compound while having to fend off quick times from those choosing to run softer compounds. Drivers who made it through would then have a strategic advantage, by means of a longer stint, for the first phase of the Grand Prix. However, due to the extent of the advantage enjoyed by the leading teams, the rule actually reduced competition as they could easily make it through Q2 on the harder compound without much concern for those opting for more aggressive tyre choices. Coming under scrutiny as a result of the Sprint Qualifying races that offered teams free choice of starting tyre, the rule has now been removed to allow that freedom for every race.

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