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10/08/2011

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I can't believe I'm going to defend Schumacher, but here I go.... Schumacher did actually try and set a qualifying time in Q3. For whatever reason his team waited until the last minute to send him out on the track, leaving him very little time to complete his out-lap and get to the start/finish before the session ended. But you could tell that Schumacher really tried to set a lap by the way he literally drove right off the track to get around a slow moving Hamilton in order to try and make it to the line before time expired. Unfortunately he arrived too late.

Now you could argue that if his team was really serious about having him set a time, and hadn't been playing tire strategy games, they should have sent him out earlier. And that might be a valid argument. But I also think the teams have a valid point this year when it comes to placing tire strategy ahead of good qualifying times.

The simple fact of the matter is that by dramatically changing the degradation rate of the tires, while introducing measures designed to make it easier to pass, F1 has created a situation where having enough good tires to run on Sunday is far more important than starting grid position. Or to put it another way, when F1 significantly reduced the durability of the tires, without increasing the weekend allotment of tires they created a situation where most teams, on most tracks, don't have enough tires to FULLY compete in both qualifying and the race. So naturally teams are willing to sacrifice qualifying times to preserve their tires for the actual race; since the race is where the money and points are won.

Instead of fining the teams what F1 should do is make sure that the teams actually have enough tires that they can fully compete in both qualifying and the race.

An interesting blog on auto racing, written by one of the most popular motorsport writers, Norris McDonald. This provides news and information on what currently happening in the motorsports world.

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