Team’s start selecting 2016 tyres

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With just over a week gone since the 2015 F1 season finale, the teams are already in full swing getting ready for 2015. One matter they must urgently consider is which tyres they wish to run in Melbourne.

Article 24.2 of the latest version of the sporting regulations now states: “Competitors must… inform the FIA, no less than eight weeks before the start of each event held in Europe and 14 weeks before the start of each event held outside Europe, which specifications of dry-weather tyres they wish to use for each of their drivers at the event.”

This means the teams have around a week to inform Pirelli of their choice. The Italian tyre manufacturer will secretly reveal this week to the teams which three compounds it will be offering from which two can be chosen. In previous years Pirelli have taken the medium and soft compound to Albert Park, so it is almost certain they will add to these the super-soft tyre as the third option, given the whole point of this exercise is to increase the number of pit stops and strategy options.

Pirelli will choose two sets of tyres that must be retained for the race – these may be two different compounds. They also a compound for which one set must be saved for Q3.

There is a lottery element to all this and teams may try and second guess which two tyre compounds Pirelli will recommend. If a team can choose a different compound from Pirelli, then they could possibility run three different compounds during the race.

Pirelli require 14 weeks to manufacture and ship the tyres by sea to the far flung corners of the earth. Airfreight is so much more expensive. Hembery explains, “For Australia, we would always have shipped early January to get the tyres there for March to avoid airfreight in any case. But now with the new rules, and the teams deciding, it means things have to be done that much earlier to give us time to produce.”

The teams will only select tyre compounds which they have any knowledge of and have already tested on their cars – for the first European race of the season in May.

13 responses to “Team’s start selecting 2016 tyres

  1. “Pirelli will choose two sets of tyres that must be retained for the race – these may be two different compounds. They also a compound for which one set must be saved for Q3.”

    I’m hopelessly confused. It would really help if examples are provided in articles when new regulations are stipulated.

    So let me (hopelessly) try.
    Let’s say the 3 tyres are medium, soft and super-soft. McLaren picks soft and super-soft. Then Pirelli picks medium and soft.
    Does this mean McLaren have to run at minimum the medium and soft?
    Or they also have to run the super-soft as well?
    If they qualify on the super-soft, I guess they have to run all 3 then, right?

    • “Does this mean McLaren have to run at minimum the medium and soft?”
      Just one or the other. Of the sets that Pirelli picks for the race, the teams are obligated to run one.

      “Or they also have to run the super-soft as well?”
      No, just one of the two sets Pirelli designates for the race.

      “If they qualify on the super-soft, I guess they have to run all 3 then, right?”
      If they set their fastest Q2 time on the super-soft, they have to start on the super-soft, and are also obligated to run at least one of the sets Pirelli designated for the race.

    • I agree that a bit of clarification wouldn’t go amiss!

      I read this to mean that out of the (12?) sets they are allowed for the event, three are chosen by Pirelli, one for Q3 and two for the race. They aren’t obliged to use then (not sure about the Q3 set) but if they don’t they are limiting the number of sets they have available.

      I know some sets have to be returned after practice – can’t remember how many off hand.

      So, in theory, if Merc think they can get through practice and Q1/2 on 5 sets of tyres, that means they can ignore the 3 sets Pirelli specify and use their remaining 4 sets in Q3 and the race.

      I think.

      Although you have to start on the set you set your fastest lap on in Q2 I believe still?

      But anyway, that’s how I read it but I’d like someone to confirm or deny so we have some clue as to just what is happening!

  2. One more thing. What happens if let’s say McLaren pick medium and super-soft and then Pirelli recommend the soft for Q3? Will McLaren have to do at least two runs? One on the super-soft they chose and one on the soft Pirelli chose?

    • “What happens if let’s say McLaren pick medium and super-soft and then Pirelli recommend the soft for Q3? Will McLaren have to do at least two runs? One on the super-soft they chose and one on the soft Pirelli chose?”

      McLaren would be obligated to use the soft during Q3. If McLaren had set their fastest time in Q2 on the super-soft, they would also be obligated to start the race on the super-soft.

    • Why don’t we add a mystery set of tyres also, no side wall markings but different compounds. These regulations are mind bogglingly stupid. How about Pirelli supply 3 sets of tyres that the team chooses and they use what ever they like. Must be too simple. When you have fans glazing over when they read the regulations, surely this can’t be good. How are you supposed to gain more fans if your loyal fans don’t have a clue what’s going on!!!!

      I think i will abort trying to understand the the regulations on race weekends and just accept that it’s a dog’s breakfast and hope it doesn’t ruin race day.

  3. I’ve seen some good explanations on F1 Fanatic and it’s understandable but obtuse. The real question is why do we need all this tire BS? Why not simply have Pirelli make three compounds, soft, medium, and hard then let the teams chose whatever they want to run? No requirement that two different compounds be run, no stupidly convoluted usage scheme, simply provide tires; if a team wants to run the race without stopping, let them. Damn, can it be so hard? We are now officially in the era of too many rules.

  4. Its very confusing. Does this also mean they dont have to start the race on the same tyres from their best Q2 time?

  5. Why don’t we go back and check the rule book. Can someone find and publish the relevant sections? This should help to reduce the speculation

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