F1 drivers and team bosses opine on the Hungarian GP qualifying format that will make its debut this weekend.

The new qualifying format was to take place in Imola first this year but since the Emilia Romagna GP was cancelled, the idea was pushed onto Hungary which was supposed to be the second grand prix to experiment the format.

This weekend’s Hungarian GP will now see drivers using only the hard compound in Q1, medium in Q2 and soft in Q3. With Imola not taking place, Pirelli along with the FIA decided to trial the experiment during Italian GP at Monza.

The new format is aimed to reduce the number of tyres brought about during the weekend which will in turn help on the environment side. The experiment has gathered mixed response from the F1 drivers and also the team bosses, here’s what they said:

Max Verstappen: “I think it plays a bit more into the hands of the top teams, to be honest, because they normally get the mediums and hard tyres to work a bit easier than most of the others.”

Esteban Ocon: “I think yes. It’s not going in the right direction because if FP2 is wet, for example, tomorrow [the Budapest forecast predicts thunderstorms], I believe that we are going to see 10 laps in the day. It’s going to be a difficult one. I think there’s going to be very limited running on Friday, unfortunately, because we have less tyres, and probably in FP3 as well. So, it’s going to be interesting. Who chooses to do what in terms of run structure and which session people are going to be using, because it is the first time that we see this. Every lap that you are going to do is going to be counting massively on the learning because you don’t have many chances to learn before you get to qualifying with less tyres than before.”

Lance Stroll: “You can argue now there’s cars that can get through Q1, so they use three sets in Q1 and that makes it really challenging for the faster cars to even get through Q1, which I think we’ve seen over the last few events. Sometimes you get a Williams or AlphaTauri putting three sets [of new soft tyres] in Q1. You put one set or two sets, you get knocked out. It happened to me in Miami. We tried to go through Q1 on one set, you have other cars doing three sets and then you’re trying to save another set for Q3.”

Frederic Vasseur: “Very often we are too shy and too conservative on the format. It was an option that we discussed last winter in order to have new options for the future, and I think it makes sense to do it and we have to try.”

James Vowles: “Obviously I think it was Imola that we were due to try it and it didn’t happen. It was put on to the SAC two years ago and it’s sort of come through to now and to 2023. The idea is good. I’m not sure what it’s going to do. There’s always a little bit of concern, where you’re slightly on the slower side. Is it going to be as easy to get the harder tyres to work? Are we actually going to split the field out? But the concept of trying it is exactly why we are doing it. We’re unsure of what the other circumstances will be, what will happen to the field spread. In many ways, there’ll be positives. On that harder tyre in the first session, you’ll be able to not just get one lap out of it, as is the case today perhaps in Silverstone with the soft tyre, but multiple laps so you’ll see more cars going around the track, more laps being completed. Probably positive for the sport, positive outcome for it but will it make a bigger gap or make it more predictable, unsure yet, which is exactly why we’re running it as a format. So open minded and it might present a new direction of travel.”

Mike Krack: “I think the key word here, is what James said, the open-mindedness. We need to try different things. I think Stefano also highlights this all the time. And in this case, the idea behind it is less tyres, more sustainable, so I think we have to applaud that initiative.”

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