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New tyre rules trigger confusion under F1 drivers

  • Published on 04 Dec 2015 08:48
  • comments 3
  • By: Rob Veenstra

F1's governing body and Pirelli had heads scratching this week as new rules for 2016 were rubber-stamped. It was already known that the sport had decided to spice up the action by giving more freedom to the teams regarding the selection of tyre compounds in future. It means three compounds will now be supplied instead of two -- but it is there that the simplicity ends.

Of each driver's 13 tyre sets next year, Pirelli "will choose two for the race (only one of which must be used in the race)," the World Motor Sport Council announced, "and one set (the softest available) that may only be used in Q3." And unless wet tyres are used, "a driver must use at least two different specifications of dry-weather tyres -- at least one of these must be the one chosen by the tyre supplier," the FIA added.

In its own statement, Pirelli added: "The two mandatory sets chosen by Pirelli can be of two different compounds, from the three that have been nominated for the race weekend. The choices for each car will remain secret until 2 weeks before the race," F1's official tyre supplier continued. "The choices made by each team can vary for each of its cars: so each driver within a team can have a different allocation."

Not only that, teams will have to decide which tyres to 'give back' to Pirelli by certain deadlines, including during practice 1, and the end of FP1, FP2 and FP3 sessions. "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," the Pirelli statement added.

At least two drivers, past and present, admitted their confusion. "I've got a headache after reading this!" said former F1 driver and now occasional TV pundit Karun Chandhok on Twitter, adding the hashtag 'UsualOvercomplicatedF1'. And Romain Grosjean added: "So far the new tyre regulation isn't clear to me. I'm glad I have an engineer to help." (GMM)

Replies (3)

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  • Nothing hard to understand. Pretty simple tbh.

    3 compounds chosen by Pirelli 2 weeks prior to race weekend. One of which is designated as the prime by Pirelli, teams can decide between the other two as the options. (so, by this reckoning, the option isn't the fastest by default anymore)

    13 sets provided by Pirelli.

    1 set is the quali tyre, either the softest of the 3 compounds or the ultrasoft (mixed messages about that) not to be used in the race.
    2 sets are the prime designated and provided by Pirelli, one of which needs to be used in the race.
    The other 10 are up to the teams discretion. At least one needs to be the option tyre which needs to be used in the race (either Q2 tyre for those in Q3 or a fresh one for those out of the top ten)

    Maybe a bit more elaborate than what they were used to, but ppl wanted to choose their own choice of tyres, and this is the compromise.

    • + 0
    • Dec 4 2015 - 08:59
  • f1dave

    Posts: 782

    Too many rules!

    • + 0
    • Dec 4 2015 - 15:52
  • khasmir

    Posts: 893

    Overly complicated, but as Grosjean said: let the engineers figure it out ;)

    • + 0
    • Dec 5 2015 - 12:29

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