New F1 tyre regs will see some cars run 3 different race compounds

head scratch

They say there’s and easy way and a ridiculously complex and unnecessary way to do things and it appears the decision makers in Formula One always opt for the latter approach. In fact it is rumoured in the hallowed portals of the Place de Concorde that Jean Todt thinks Occam is a competitor of Gillette.

One of the most useful proposals coming from the F1 strategy group in 2015 was from Force India who suggested that teams be allowed a freedom of dry tyre choice for each race, rather than the current system which sees Pirelli select two compounds from it’s range of four.

Pirelli weren’t all that happy about this and the old ‘safety’ chestnut was quickly on the agenda. However, the strategy group agreed on the Force India proposal, which forced Pirelli to play ball.

Pirelli’s concern about allowing the teams complete freedom was based upon the possibility that a midfield team would select the super soft tyre as one of their compounds at a circuit where the optimum choice would be maybe the medium and the hard – thus destroying the tyres in a matter of minutes. The reason a midfield team may take this apparently nonsensical course of action would be to have a glory run in Q3 in Saturday’s qualifying, but be ill equipped for the race on Sunday.

This also concerned those who place a lot of weight on the history of Formula One records because the thought of Sauber’s and Manor cars topping the time sheets would devalue the achievement of claiming pole position.

Soon after the strategy group agreement on the teams being allowed this freedom, the Italian tyre manufacturer began letting it be known, they were working on an extreme soft compound to add to their range of four dry weather tyres. To be fair to Pirelli, this kind of compound would spice up certain races where even the super soft and soft compounds are only delivering one-stop race strategies.

The teams tested various prototypes of this tyre in Abu Dhabi this week, though as yet there is no word from Pirelli as to how successful the test was from their perspective.

Following the meeting of the WMSC this week, we now have the details of how exactly the tyre selection process will be managed for 2016.

Sit back and concentrate.

During a race weekend, the teams have been awarded 13 sets of tyres per car and this will not change in 2013. Pirelli will select three compounds from their range of extreme soft, super soft, soft, medium and hard compounds and the team will get to choose some weeks in advance which two they wish to run. Interestingly, the teams can opt for different selections for each driver. On hearing this news, it is highly probable that Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe began drinking heavily.

Pirelli will nominate from its three compounds, 2 sets for each car for use only in the race. The two sets may be different compounds and at least one of these two sets MUST be used in the race. If they are different compounds, the teams can then chose which one they run.

Further, the teams must also take one more set of the softer of the two race compounds nominated by Pirelli and use it should they make it through to Q3. This leaves them freedom to choose two compounds form the three on offer from the remaining 10 sets they require for the weekend.

The teams will be given a deadline by Pirelli by when they must nominate the tyre selections they are making. Pirelli will manufacture the tyres to order and any team failing to inform Pirelli of their decision by the deadline will be allocated tyres decided on by Pirelli.

Pirelli will reveal to the world, the teams’ selection two weeks before the race weekend where they will be deployed.

During the weekend, the teams must return tyres to Pirelli according to the following schedule.

  • One set after 40 minutes (up from 30 minutes this year) of FP1
  • One set at the end of FP1
  • Two sets at the end of FP2
  • Two sets at the end of FP3
  • For teams making it into Q3, they will return the Pirelli nominated tyre for this session.
  • For the teams not making it to Q3, they can keep the Pirelli Q3 nominated tyre and use it if they wish in the race.

Cars will start on the tyre they set their quickest time in Q2 – as happens now.

What was a beautiful idea from Force India has now become…. Well – you decide.

This does mean if the team/driver does not select the same two compounds as Pirelli nominate for Sunday, they could end up using three different compounds during the race.

The tangled web we weave eh Jean?

13 responses to “New F1 tyre regs will see some cars run 3 different race compounds

  1. I want to hear what the dog barking on the podcast feels about this…..I suspect I’d agree with his opinion…..barking mad 😀

  2. Teams should be able to choose as many of each compound as they like IMO, up to an overall total limit. Get rid of the existing tyre rules while they’re at it and start again.
    If it were me, I wouldn’t announce teams tyre choices at all. Competitors will find out for themselves when the cars leave the garages or grid. Keep them in unmarked blankets so no-one knows the compound. Just have team/driver name.
    Let the teams make last minute decisions on which tyres they stick on the car. All part of the strategy. There seems an annoying and persistent desirability in F1 to enable planning all spontaneity out of existence.

  3. Bernie’s FOM website says
    Teams will still have to give back tyres according to a certain schedule, but they can decide which tyres to give back at the following times:

    – One set after the first 40 minutes of FP1
    – One set at the end of FP1
    – Two sets at the end of FP2
    – Two sets at the end of FP3
    The two mandatory sets nominated by Pirelli cannot be given back during practice and must be available for use in the race. At least one of these two sets must be used during the race – but the teams can decide which one.

  4. What if Pirelli chooses for example Soft, Medium and Hard as weekend tyres. Then nominates Hard and Medium for the race, so the Soft tyres (which are the softest) will be given drivers in Q3. These tyres will also be given to drivers who didn’t reach the Q3 as 7th race set of tyres. Even if driver didn’t choose Soft compound at all (when choosing 10 sets), he will have one set of it in the race. So he will have three types of tyres available for the race. But it will happen only if Pirelli will not choose the softest type of tyre for the racing.

  5. It was such a simple idea before, the teams could nominate their tyres from any of the ones Pirelli produced. Only Formula 1 could take such a simple premise and make it as complicated as possible. Who employs these idiots and why are they still ruining (not a mistype) the show?

  6. I like it, it not that difficult to get, but v quickly teams will figure out what’s best and all do the same. Be interesting to see if Button and Perez one step softer than their team mates.

  7. “Interestingly, the teams can opt for different selections for each driver. On hearing this news, it is highly probable that Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe began drinking heavily.”

    Now that got me laughing.. 😀

  8. Well that is clear as mud then. Trust the FiA to make it as hard as possible for the fans to follow, it could have been oh so simple.
    A team nominates its 2 compounds, they still have to run both in the race and every one gets a free set of tyres in Q3 should they make it through.
    Now how hard was that, instead we got the monstrosity described above.
    How very Jean Todt……..

  9. What pisses me off is that now my mates who are just casual F1 fans will ask me what is going on with the tyre rules and I am going to have to try and explain this mess.
    How much simpler would it have been to just go you get say 10 sets for the weekend, you can choose any combination out of the 5 compounds. You want 10 sets of extreme softs, here you go, have fun doing 8 pit stops in the race!

    • I hear ya, most people glaze over by the time you explain there is 2 compounds available, both of which must be run for at least 1 stint (then the question comes, what is a stint), that’s before you get to the explanation as to why the top 10 are all on one type and those further back may be sporting an alternative. I mean, shit, if you still got friends left at this point, it’s probably better to say “i don’t really know” to any more tyres related questions than try an give a reasonable and concise summary of these revised tyres regs, especially if you value said friends……..

  10. What is not explained clearly in the FIA statement or the above, is how the allocation requirements interact –

    The three sets of tyres allocated by FIA will be from the two compounds proposed by Pirelli, and are sufficient to complete a race – so that can only be
    2 off the softer (Pirelli choice) – 1 for Q3 if achieved (to be subsequently returned)
    1 off the harder (Pirelli choice) – at least 1 of these 3 sets must be used in race

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