Pirelli explains 2016 tyre rule changes
7th December 2015
Formula 1 supplier Pirelli has confirmed further details regarding the sport's tyre-related regulation changes for the 2016 campaign, which were initially outlined by governing body the FIA on Wednesday.
Under the tweaked rules, Pirelli will provide teams with three compounds – from its wider dry-weather range of five – at each Grand Prix, with teams able to pick 10 of the 13 sets.
Pirelli will choose two sets for the race (only one of which must be used), and one set (the softest nominated compound) that may only be used in the final Q3 qualifying phase.
It means that, in theory, drivers could use three dry compounds during a race.
Pirelli's Super Soft, Soft, Medium and Hard dry compounds will be joined by an Ultra Soft tyre, which ran during a private test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi earlier this week.
Pirelli issued a press release on Thursday to clarify the changes.
Main tyre-related changes for 2016:
- Pirelli, in consultation with the FIA, will decide the three compounds in advance
- Pirelli will nominate two mandatory race sets for each car, while one set of the softer compound will be kept aside for use in Q3 only
- The two mandatory sets chosen by Pirelli can be of two different compounds, from the three that have been nominated for the event
- The remaining 10 sets can be chosen by each team, from the three compounds nominated
- The teams will make their choices within a deadline set by Pirelli. After the choices are communicated to the FIA, Pirelli will be told how many tyres to produce
- Choices will remain secret until two weeks before each race. If a team fails to meet the deadline, the choice will be made by the FIA on its behalf
- The choices made by each team can vary for each of its cars, meaning that each driver within a team can have a different allocation
- The tyres will be distinguished by different coloured markings on the sidewalls, as is currently the case
- 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 cannot be given back during practice and must be available for use in the race. At least one of these sets must be used during the race, but the teams can decide which one
- At the end of qualifying, the top 10 will still have to give back the set of the softer compound nominated for Q3, and start the race on the tyres with which they set their fastest time in Q2
- All other drivers will be able to use the set that is saved for Q3 during the race