F1 to give teams freedom over tyre compound choices

Formula 1 teams will be allowed to choose one of their tyre compounds themselves each grand prix weekend under new rules proposed for next year, AUTOSPORT understands.

Currently, F1 tyre supplier Pirelli nominates two compounds per weekend from its selection of four specifications – hard, medium, soft and super-soft – both of which must be used during the race.

For 2016 Pirelli will add a fifth compound to its selection, and it will nominate three choices per weekend – one of which will be mandatory for all teams

Teams will then get to choose which of the remaining two compounds they want to use alongside the mandatory option, and the rule requiring both types of tyre to be used in the race will remain.

The compounds are likely to be labelled from one to five or A through E, with the three allocated choices on each weekend simply known as soft, medium and hard to make it simpler for fans to understand.

F1 wet tyre
F1 wet tyre – Imago

Pirelli’s fifth compound for 2016 will be a super-super-soft, and it is believed the compulsory tyre for each weekend would be a conservative choice, leaving teams to choose how aggressive they wanted to go for their other option.

Although various proposals are under discussion, this one appears to be the most likely to come to fruition, with all teams said to be in favour of the regulation change as a means of introducing a variable factor.

“[We’re going to have a] couple of days of testing after Abu Dhabi to develop a super-super-soft tyre, which will make a lot more sense when regulations come out for 2016,” said Pirelli motorsport chief Paul Hembery.

“That’s the current situation. That’s only at Strategy Group level. It needs to be ratified.”

The proposal is expected to go to the F1 Commission by e-vote for approval ahead of ratification by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, which meets in Paris on September 30.

There had previously been suggestions that teams should get complete freedom to pick their compounds from the full Pirelli range, but the current proposal is a development of the tyre company’s preferred variation of that idea.