Teams now facing the 2016 tyre choice conundrum


Formula One’s new tyre regulations mean that the earlier than usual selection of the compounds for the opening races of next season is giving fans the feeling that F1 racing is not too far away.

Pirelli have now revealed the three tyre compounds that will be available for the teams to choose from for Australia, Bahrain and China. The following were selected for the races in 2015,

  • Australia – Medium/Soft
  • Bahrain – Medium/Soft
  • China – Medium/Soft

To this, Pirelli have added the super soft tyre for 2016. The teams must save a set of medium and soft tyres to be available during the race, though must use only one of these two compounds. Further, Pirelli have dictated that a set of the super soft must be saved for teams reaching Q3.

Teams not reaching Q3 will have these tyres available for use during the race. Teams reaching Q3 will hand these tyres back at the end of qualifying.

The teams are free to select two compounds from the three on offer for the remaining 10 sets of tyres supplied over the weekend and each driver can have a different selection.

In Melbourne this year, the race was a fairly dull one stop affair, with the soft tyre being used in qualifying but lasting almost as many laps as the medium during the race.

The Chinese GP was predominantly a two stop race for the teams, with the preferred race tyre being the medium compound. All things being equal, the teams will again select the medium compound as the tyre of choice for next year’s race in Shanghai, though

In Bahrain this year, like in China the race was predominantly a two stop race, though here the softer tyre was preferred for two of the three stints by most of the teams.

The permutations facing the teams for the first three races next year appear mind boggling at present, and the big question is which team/driver has now selected what tyres? That – we will only know two weeks before the circus pitches its big top in Melbourne for the start of another year.

4 responses to “Teams now facing the 2016 tyre choice conundrum

  1. Maybe I haven’t quite got my head around these new regulations yet. Won’t everyone just use super soft for qualifying, and the usual tyres during the race? So what has changed?

  2. A 2012 style tyre lottery would be nice. I could use a bigger dose of unpredictability after the past 2 seasons.
    The tyre ‘cliff’ comes back next year or up in 2017? That could spice things up too.

  3. The more problems FI faces the more confusion the powers that be throws in in an attempt to try and solve their problems.

  4. Why don’t they just make it easy and say, here is a stack of tyres, use what the heck you like but you have to have at least one pit stop to a different compound. It would introduce a thing called strategy. All too damned complicated

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