F1 2018: Talking Tyres

Pirelli have introduced two new tyre compounds ahead of the 2018 F1 Season in addition to the 5 tyre compounds in 2017. So what are the new compounds and how will this effect racing in 2018?

18/02/18

For 2018, Pirelli, the official tyre supplier for Formula One, have introduced two new tyre compounds for 2018. These two will be the Hypersoft and Superhard tyre. This is in addition to the Ultrasoft, Supersoft, Soft, Medium and Hard compound tyres.

In 2017, the rules to widen the tyres, Pirelli decided to play it safe and constructed the tyre in a way so it wouldn’t degrade quickly. This led to a lot of races in 2017 being very predictable due to normally having a one-stop race. So for 2018, Pirelli have widened their range.

The softer a compound is, the faster it will be and it will have a short life-span. The harder a compound is, the slower it will be and it will have a long life-span.

The Hypersoft tyre will be the softest tyre on range with the Superhard being the hardest tyre on range. Having a wider range means that Pirelli can better select the right tyre for a GP weekend. Their hope is to have as many races as possible to have a two-stop race. For the viewers, this should mean more unpredictable and exciting races.

The colour coding for 2018 as follows: Hypersoft (pink), Ultrasoft (purple), Supersoft (red), Soft (yellow), Medium (white), Hard (blue), Superhard (orange).

Tyre Choice

Before a GP weekend, Pirelli chose 3 compounds that they’ll bring to a race. These decisions have to be made:

  • 9 weeks before a European race (e.g Monaco, Belgian GPs)
  • 15 weeks before a non-European race (e.g Australia, United States GPs)

Each driver will have 13 sets of tyres to use during the weekend. In this set, Pirelli will choose two mandatory tyres to be used during the race. Each driver must use at least of these tyres during the race. Pirelli will also pick one tyre to be used in Q3 if the driver makes it into the final part of Qualifying. The remaining 10 sets of tyre can be chosen by the driver and team.

Giving back tyres

In a F1 weekend, there are 7 sessions. 3 Practise sessions, 3 parts of qualifying and the race itself. The team must start giving back sets of tyres to Pirelli at certain points throughout the weekend.

  • One set of tyres must be given back to Pirelli 40 minutes into Practise 1.
  • One set of tyres must be given back to Pirelli at the end of Practise 1.
  • Two sets of tyres must be given back to Pirelli as the end of Practise 2.
  • Two sets of tyres must be given back to Pirelli at the end of Practise 3.

This leaves 4 sets of tyres for Qualifying plus the tyre for Q3. If the driver makes it through to Q3, they must hand that tyre back at the end of that session. If the driver make it through to Q3, they must start on the tyre in which they set their fastest time on in Q2. Everyone else can start whatever tyre they want.

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