Date: 3rd December 2015 at 1:40pm
Written by:

The regulations regarding the use of tyres in Formula One will see a shake-up for 2016.

The current regulations for tyres is pretty simple.

Formula One’s official tyre supplier Pirelli declare which two compounds will be used for each Grand Prix.

Each driver then receives 13 sets over the course of the Grand Prix weekend, a driver then has to hand back a certain number of sets following various stages during the Friday and Saturday practice sessions. This is to try and ensure the maximum amount of running over the course of the weekend and to prevent teams stock piling tyres for later in the weekend.

During qualifying, if a driver makes it through to Q3 and the pole position shoot-out that driver must then start the race on the set of tyres that set that qualifying time in Q2, whilst receiving a brand new set of tyres specifically for use in Q3.

During the race both compounds must be used, as long as the race is declared dry.

For 2016, most of the above will remain the same, however drivers will have a free choice of a third compound.

Pirelli will still nominate two compounds for each Grand Prix, but the drivers will decide on their third option. This can be different to their team-mates.

Drivers will also be able to choose how many of each set they get for the weekend, with 10 sets of tyres their own choice and only 3 sets specifically chosen by Pirelli.

Those 3 sets specifically chosen by Pirelli will be for use in Q3 and the race [although if a driver doesn’t make it through to Q3 they can opt to use them in the race].

Pirelli will nominate two mandatory race sets for each car, but the teams will decide which one will have to be used during the race.

This could mean that theoretically for example, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg could both start a Grand Prix on the super-soft tyres, but Hamilton may target a two stop race switching to medium compound tyres whilst Rosberg may try and one-stop race switching to the hard compound.

If of course Mercedes allow their drivers to make their own selections……

The teams will make their choices within a deadline set by Pirelli and their choices will remain secret until two weeks before the Grand Prix.

A Pirelli statement published on Sky Sports read: Changes have been approved by the World Motor Sport Council in regard to the way that tyres are used by teams in order to encourage differing race strategies in 2016. These include:

– The tyre supplier will now provide three dry-weather compounds instead of two.

– Of the 13 sets of dry tyres available to each driver, the tyre supplier will choose two for the race (only one of which must be used in the race), and one set (the softest available) that may only be used in Q3. Each driver may then choose their remaining 10 sets from the three available compounds.

– Unless intermediate or wet-weather tyres have been 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.