McLaren's Lando Norris and Aplha Tauri's Yuki Tsunoda will have to miss out on the final SQ3 of today's shootout qualifying if they manage to make it that far.
The reason for this is that they used all sets of soft compound tires in free practice and qualifying. Norris will start the race for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from seventh, and Tsunoda from eighth, which is Alpha Tauri's best starting position this season.
But they used all sets of soft tires, and the rules of the modified sprint weekend format dictate that racers must use one set of medium hard tires in SQ1 and SQ2, and one set of new soft tires in the final, SQ3 section. Since Norris and Tsunoda used each of the six sets of soft tires, they will not be able to use the "new" one in SQ3, which means that they will simply skip the performance in the last part, and will start the sprint race from ninth and tenth place.
The loophole in the rules thus allows teams to keep more options open for Sunday's race with an extra, slightly used set of soft tires. But Pirelli's sporting boss, Mario Isola, says it will be the rule before the next sprint race on July 2 in Austria.
"The rules say they have to use a new set of tires. These are new rules and obviously further adjustments will be necessary," he added.
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