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Drivers reject missing Q3 to save tires

Mar 14, 2013, 7:00 PM EDT

A Ferrari Formula One team member moves tyres into the garage at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne Reuters

Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo have both rejected the idea of skipping the final qualifying session in order to preserve their tires for the race in 2013.

Many teams have elected not to run in Q3 in the past in order to secure fresher tires for the race, believing that this advantage outweighs a better grid position. In 2013, Pirelli have designed the tires to wear at a quicker rate, making this tactic more suitable than ever, but the idea was rejected in the drivers’ press conference on Thursday.

“I don’t think so,” said defending world champion Sebastian Vettel. “I think you always want to start from the front. There’s the odd example here or there where people maybe had a bit of a benefit putting on that extra set at the end of the race but on average I think if you can chose, you go for the front.”

Ahead of his home race, Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo echoed Vettel’s sentiments despite only reaching Q3 once in 2012.

“Obviously if I was in the position to do that as well I would definitely go for starting at the front. Starting in the mid-pack and taking that risk to save tyres is obviously putting yourself in a bit more of a tight situation potentially on the first lap with more cars around.

“The thing is, if you’re able to fight for the front row you go for it, that’s the logical one for me.”

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