Home » Formula 1 » F1 News - Latest News in Formula 1 | Formula One » 2016 F1 Tyre Rules Explained (with help from Pirelli)
Octane Photographic
Pirelli tyre rules
Octane Photographic Ltd.

2016 F1 Tyre Rules Explained (with help from Pirelli)

Confused by the new for 2016 F1 tyre rules? Here’s our explanation of them, with some visual help from Pirelli.

 

Prior to the race weekend:

  • The compounds available for 2016 are; hard, medium, soft, super-soft and ultra-soft.
  • Of the five available tyre compound types, three will be chosen by Pirelli. Two types are for use at any point over the weekend. The third compound (the softest of the three) will be a dedicated set for Q3 or the race, depending on where the driver qualifies.
  • Like 2015, a driver receives an allocation of thirteen sets of tyres for the weekend. Of the thirteen, Pirelli will choose three sets (which will include the Q3 tyre) and the team/driver may choose the remaining ten from any of the three compounds.
  • These tyre sets are chosen a couple of weeks before the race event, and if a team fails to make their selection in time, random sets will be chosen by the FIA. Choices are kept secret until the decision deadline has passed.
  • For example, Pirelli designate the following tyre compounds for a race weekend:
    • Hard
    • Medium
    • Soft
  • Of the thirteen available sets, Pirelli choose the following tyres:
    • Hard (x1)
    • Medium (x1)
    • Soft (x1) – Dedicated Q3 tyres
  • Of the remaining ten sets, ‘Driver X’ chooses the following tyres:
    • Hard (x3)
    • Medium (x4)
    • Soft (x3)
  • Therefore, the total allocation for the Grand Prix weekend is:
    • Hard (x4)
    • Medium (x5)
    • Soft (x4)

Free Practice One:

  • Similar to the pre-2016 rules, teams will return sets of tyres over the course of the weekend. One set of tyres are returned to Pirelli after 40 minutes of FP1. Teams may not return any of the three sets dedicated by Pirelli.
  • One further set of tyres are returned after the conclusion of FP1.
  • For example, ‘Driver X’ has the following tyres remaining after FP1:
    • Hard (x3)
    • Medium (x4)
    • Soft (x4)

Free Practice Two:

  • Two sets of tyres will be handed back to Pirelli at the end of FP2. Teams may not return any of the three sets dedicated by Pirelli.
  • Continuing the example, ‘Driver X’ has the following tyres remaining after FP2:
    • Hard (x2)
    • Medium (x4)
    • Soft (x3)

Free Practice Three:

  • Two sets of tyres will be handed back to Pirelli at the end of FP3. Teams may not return any of the three sets dedicated by Pirelli.
  • Continuing the example, ‘Driver X’ has the following tyres remaining after FP3:
    • Hard (x2)
    • Medium (x3)
    • Soft (x2)

Qualifying (Part One):

  • Drivers may use any of the remaining Hard, Medium or Soft compounds to try and progress to the next part of qualifying. The dedicated Q3 tyres must not be used.
  • If a driver fails to progress into the third part of qualifying, then the designated Q3 tyres now become available for the race.

Qualifying (Part Two):

  • Drivers may use any of the remaining Hard, Medium or Soft compounds to try and progress to the next part of qualifying. The dedicated Q3 tyres must not be used.
  • If a driver fails to progress into the third part of qualifying, then the designated Q3 tyres now become available for the race.

Qualifying (Part Three):

  • All remaining sets of tyres are available for a driver to choose from.
  • At the end of qualifying, those who progressed to Q3 must return the designated Q3 tyres to Pirelli as those in the top ten cannot use these in the race.

Race:

  • Those who progressed to Q3 must start the race on the set of tyres which they used to post their best time in Q2 (as was the case for the 2015 season).
  • Those who were eliminated in Q1 and Q2 can start the race on whichever tyres they like.
  • During the race, a driver must use at least one of Pirelli’s dedicated tyres, except for the dedicated qualifying tyre.
  • For one example, if ‘Driver X’ had progressed to Q3 and started the race in ninth place, his tyre strategy could look like this:
    • Medium (Pirelli’s set).
    • Soft (Driver’s set).
    • Medium (Driver’s set).
  • For another example, if ‘Driver X’ failed to progress to Q3 and started the race in fifteenth, his tyre strategy could look like this:
    • Medium (Pirelli’s set).
    • Medium (Driver’s set).
    • Soft (Pirelli’s set). These tyre were not used in qualifying, so are available for any point in the race.

Still confused? Then let Pirelli show you..

About Luke Murphy

I've been a motor racing fan since the late 90's, enjoying the underdog stories, the history and the technology of the sport. Graduate of Huddersfield University with a BEng Motorsport Engineering Degree and a keen amateur karter.

Check Also

Vettel wins strategy battle against Mercedes in Australia – Race Report

Australian Grand Prix – Sebastian Vettel won the season opener in Australia after a strategic …

Fuel pressure issue sees Vandoorne out of qualifying early

Australian Grand Prix – Stoffel Vandoorne was knocked out of qualifying early when a fuel …