What tyres will the teams and drivers have for the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix?
Pirelli have announced which tyres they will be bringing to this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix – the fourth Sprint weekend of the season.
F1’s Official tyre suppliers have nominated the three hardest compounds in their range, with the drivers able to call upon the C1 (hard tyre), C2 (medium tyre), and the C3 (soft tyre) – the same tyre range seen last time out in Japan.
However, due to the revised Sprint format, there will be a change in the number of sets of tyres given to the teams. Pirelli will once again bring two sets of the hards, but they will also nominate four sets of the mediums, and just six sets of the softs.
The amount of medium compound tyres will be increased because of Saturday’s Sprint shootout, which will require the teams to run the mediums in both SQ1 and SQ2, with the softs only being used in SQ3.
“Formula 1 now returns to Qatar, two years after its debut there in 2021. But in many ways, it’s another new beginning, as the cars are now very different to the ones, we saw a couple of years ago and the Lusail circuit has been completely resurfaced, with modified kerbs as well,” said Mario Isola, Pirelli’s Motorsport Director.
“On paper, the track’s main features remain the same – with a main straight just over a kilometre long and 16 corners – but it’s clear that the changes made over the last two years mean that the data collected from the first grand prix is only relatively useful.
“In terms of severity, Lusail is a very challenging circuit for tyres, similar to Silverstone and Suzuka. So, it’s no coincidence that the compounds chosen are the same: C1, C2, and C3. There’s quite a variety of corners, most of them medium speed and high speed.
“The series of corners between Turns 12 and 14 is quite reminiscent of the famous Turn 8 at Istanbul: one of the most demanding corners for tyres in the recent history of Formula 1. This sequence is also one of the most influential factors to a good lap time.
“The fact that 11 of the 16 corners are right-handers puts particular stress on the left of the car, especially at the front, but the energy levels seen going through the tyres in 2021 were still quite well-balanced between the two axles.
“Another factor making the Qatar Grand Prix even more challenging for us as well as the drivers and the teams is the return of the Sprint format. Just one hour of free practice will be available on Friday to determine the set-up and assess tyre behaviour over long runs.
“Furthermore, that session happens in the heat of the day – which will warm up the asphalt – as opposed to qualifying and the two races, which take place at night.
"So, everything is in place for an interesting weekend as well as perhaps a few surprises; the ability to adapt quickly and well to the track could deliver a significant advantage.”
For more information about Pirelli’s Formula 1 tyres, visit pirelli.com.