Max Verstappen, driver for the Red Bull Racing team, is still not in favor of the new qualifying formats that are appearing as trials this season. The Dutchman is still dissatisfied with the new Alternative Tire Allocation plans, also abbreviated to ATA, of Formula 1 and tire manufacturer Pirelli, and does not yet intend to change his opinion. Furthermore, the Dutchman is not the only one who is not yet sure about the success rate of the possible change, because opinions are also divided at Ferrari.
The ATA was also tried out for the second time this season at the circuit in Monza, after the test at Imola went wrong due to bad weather in Italy. As a result, the first test took place at the Hungaroring, where Verstappen gave free rein to his dissatisfaction afterwards. The ATA rules prescribe that certain types of tires must be used per phase of the qualification. For example, the drivers have to go out with hard tires during Q1, on medium tires during Q2, and with soft tires during Q3.
Verstappen thinks a change in rules is really unnecessary, Ferrari gentlemen see difficulties during training
After the first test at the Hungaroring, Verstappen already expressed his dissatisfaction, and even after the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, his opinion has still not changed, he shares with RacingNews365. ‘I think these kinds of rules are really unnecessary. It really doesn’t change qualifying or the way we drive at all.’ Verstappen is clear: whoever takes pole position has nothing to do with the tires on which the time is set. ‘The faster cars still advance to Q3, while the slower teams still do not get further than Q2.’ According to the Dutchman, there is even a chance that the ATA rules will only make it more difficult for the less strong teams. ‘Maybe the situation will just become a lot worse for the teams further back in the field.’
Opinions are still divided at Ferrari about the new ATA rules. They were asked the same question as Verstappen, but do not share the same opinion on all points. This way, Carlos Sainz can somewhat enjoy the challenges that the new rules can bring during qualifying. ‘The training sessions may be more difficult in terms of planning because there is less opportunity to collect data from the different types of tires. And the fans also have to wait longer for action on the track, but I personally really enjoyed qualifying, because you have to be able to adapt quickly and improvise more to find grip.’ Charles Leclerc is less enthusiastic, and even relatively direct in his answer. ‘I really don’t like it three times. Q1, Q2 and Q3 can be done this way, but the training sessions are really horrible. I find it horrible.’