Mat Coch writes:
Formula One fans want to see drivers and cars fight for pole position on Saturday afternoons rather than sat in the garage saving tyres for Sunday.
It's no great secret though it will come as a surprise to the teams who insist fans are as interested in the tactical aspect of the sport as the racing.
Pitpass' recent Q3 Tyre Survey has revealed that an overwhelming 87% of fans would much rather see drivers on track shooting for pole position.
Throughout 2012 it's become common practice for some drivers reaching the final phase of qualifying to sit out the final session in an effort to save tyres for the race on Sunday. The fast wearing Pirelli rubber, developed at the request of the teams, has often dominated proceedings on Saturday afternoons.
It's a point Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery is all too aware of, a point the Englishman was not shying away from when presented with the survey results.
"We're here to provide entertainment and the fans, it seems quite clearly from the survey, have the point of view that they just want to see the cars running (in qualifying)," Hembery explains.
"We've only ever had people contacting us at Pirelli and saying that they want to see people running," he continues. "That's why we've been of the opinion, from our point of view, that it's something that does need resolving.
"The solution is less important," the Pirelli boss admits after reviewing the survey figures. He has a point as opinion was split almost equally across the two possible solutions offered in the survey - to give teams a new set of tyres or introduce additional qualifying tyres.
The underlying message is that the qualifying format, when it comes to how teams use or don't use their tyres, isn't endearing itself to the watching world. It also suggests Pirelli is in better touch with the fans than the teams.
It's food for thought for the F1 decision makers, many of whom will head to New Jersey on Monday to face a Formula One Fans Forum.
Q: What is more important in Q3?
The tactical intrigue of saving tyres and not running, 13%
Seeing all ten cars running, 87%
Q: How would cars not running in Q3 best be solved?
A replacement set of tyres given to Q3 cars, 52%
Introduction of qualifying tyres, 48%