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.