2016 will see plenty of new tyre rules for you to wrap your head around. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the new season.
Pirelli will be introducing a new tyre compound in the 2016 season – ultrasoft.
Testing after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix trailed a range of potential tyre compounds.
The tyre will be softer than the supersoft and “designed as aggressive choice for street circuits”, according to Pirelli motorsport director, Paul Hembery. It will have faster degradation than the supersoft tyre, and will allow the teams to take a more aggressive approach to race strategy.
“Whether this will produce more pit stops, or any difference in strategies, it’s too early to say for now,” Hembery said.
After the test, the Pirelli team took the data back to base but said it seemed they are heading in the right direction.
“The ultrasoft is expected to offer more possibilities for certain races.”
“We also tested some different constructions for both front and rear tyres.”
Last season, teams were given two compounds a race, both of which had to be used during the race.
Now, teams will have three compounds available to them each weekend.
Pirelli will decide ahead of the race which compounds will be available to the teams.
So what can they use?
Ok, we’ll take this slow…
The number of sets that can be used in a weekend hasn’t changed: 13 sets.
Pirelli will nominate two mandatory race sets for each car. These can be any of the three compounds chosen for the weekend, and may be two different compounds. Of course, these will be the same for each team. At least one of these mandatory sets must be used during the race, but the team can chose which one. Neither of the sets can be given back during practice and have to be available to use during the race.
One set of the softest compound of the weekend will have to be kept for Q3 only.
So that’s ten sets left. The team can choose which compounds they can like for the remaining ten sets. This choice can vary from driver to driver, even within a team. If a team doesn’t tell Pirelli which sets they want, the FIA will chose for them.
Once all the choices are made, the FIA will assign tyres randomly using a bar code, as they do at the moment.
There will be a schedule to give tyres back:
• 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
As is currently the case, the top ten at the end of qualifying have to give back the set of softer compound nominated for Q3, and they must start the race on the tyres they set their fastest time in Q2.
Feature image created by Phil Guest used under Creative Commons