‘Alternative Tyre Allocation’ will be used at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, according to director of Pirelli Motorsport Mario Isola.
A new set of regulations governing the types of tyre compounds that teams are allowed to use during each qualifying segment is being tested by Formula 1 and Pirelli. Teams will now only get 11 slick tire compounds altogether for the weekend under the program known as “Alternative Tyre Allocation” (ATA).
Only 11 sets of tyres will be available from the Italian tyre maker for the three-day race at the Hungaroring as part of ongoing attempts to increase sustainability and teams will be required to utilize specific compounds during qualifying on Saturday.
Drivers must start Q1 on a set of Hard tyres, switch to Mediums in the second session and then battle it out for pole position on the softest compound.
Teams can select their compound if race officials determine the track to be “wet.”
The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix was scheduled to test this format, however flooding in the area forced the cancellation of the event. The Hungaroring will now host this very first change to qualifying.
Pirelli Motorsport Director Mario Isola explained how the new regulations were an attempt toward F1’s sustainability targets ahead of the postponed race at Imola in May.
“A new tyre allocation for qualifying [known as ATA, or ‘Alternative Tyre Allocation’] will be tried out for the first time, with the obligation to use just the Hard in Q1, Medium in Q2 and Soft in Q3 if conditions stay dry,” explained Isola.
“Both these changes, at least on paper, should lead to a wider range of options, particularly in terms of strategy.
“The ATA also saves two sets of dry tyres compared to the traditional format [using 11 sets instead of 13)] and it will be run again at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza.
“After that, the FIA, F1 and the teams will decide whether or not to adopt it for next season.”
The ATA will undergo two trials, starting with the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Italian Grand Prix at Monza in September will serve as the second trial for this qualifying format.
It is one of the elements of an ATA system trial that in the event of success, might be approved for use starting with the season to come.