Formula 1 leaves Q3 tyre rule unchanged for 2019

© XPB 

Next season, drivers who qualify in the top ten will once again start their race on the tyre they used in Q2, thus leaving the current rule unchanged.

Formula 1 unassailable front-runners - Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull - were often seen at advantage in qualifying this year, the trio's superior performance allowing it at some venues to make the final Q3 cut while using a more durable compound in Q2, therefore awarding their drivers a strategic advantage on race day.

To guarantee a start on the rubber of their choice, mid-field drivers were often encouraged to purposefully avoid a fast run in Q2, a tactic that runs counter-trend to the very essence of qualifying.

The rule - understandably criticized by several drivers in the midfield - came into question recently, but a lack unanimity among the teams has prevented its change according to Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola.

"There was a proposal to remove the rule that obliges the top 10 to start with the tyre used in qualifying but it was not approved, and at this point of the year you need unanimity to change the rules, so for next year no changes are planned," Isola said.

Isola believes that opting for a more conservative selection of compounds in 2019 could, to a certain degree, encourage drivers to run on softer rubber in Q2.

"If we go a bit more conservative in the selection I think that in qualifying there is no reason to try to use the one [compound] in the middle instead of the softest because the advantage is probably less, so we have a race that is more balanced in this respect."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter