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VIDEO: The 2016 F1 tyre regulations explained

15 Mar 2016

To encourage variation between race strategies - and increase excitement in races - some significant changes have been made to the tyre regulations ahead of the coming season, including allowing the drivers to choose how many sets of each compound they use at each race. Confused? Allow official F1 tyre supplier Pirelli to explain…

Getting to grips - the 2016 rules at a glance

  • Pirelli are now making three, rather than two, of their five dry-weather tyre compounds available at each event. The Italian manufacturer tells the teams which three compounds will be used at each race no less than nine weeks before the start of each event in Europe, and 15 weeks before the start of each event held outside Europe

  • Like last year, each car’s full race weekend allocation consists of 13 sets of dry-weather tyres, four sets of intermediate tyres and three sets of wet tyres

  • Pirelli nominate two mandatory sets for each car for the race (which can be of different compounds) and one further set of whichever is the softest compound that can only be used in the Q3 segment of qualifying, but the teams are free to choose the remaining 10 sets

  • The choices made by each team can vary for each of its cars: so each driver within a team can have a different allocation

  • The teams must inform the FIA of their nominations no less than eight weeks before the start of each European race and fourteen weeks before the start of each event held outside Europe, meaning they effectively have a week in which to decide on their allocation after hearing which compounds will be made available at each race

  • If a team does not meet the deadline, the choice will be made by the FIA

  • The choices for each car will remain secret until two weeks before the race

  • Over the course of a race weekend the teams have to hand back tyres according to a certain schedule, though they can decide which tyres to give back at the following times:

    -       One set after the first 40 minutes of FP1
    -       One set at the end of FP1
    -       Two sets at the end of FP2 *
    -       Two sets at the end of FP3

* Unless both FP1 and FP2 are either declared wet or cancelled, in which case one of these sets may be retained by each driver but must be returned before the start of the qualifying

  • The two mandatory sets nominated by Pirelli cannot be given back during practice and must be available for use in the race

  • Unless wet or intermediate tyres are used during the race, all drivers must use at least two different specifications of dry-weather tyres in the race, at least one of which must be one of the two mandatory sets nominated by Pirelli, though the teams are free to decide which one

  • Drivers who make it through to Q3 must hand back the set of the softer compound tyres nominated for Q3, and start the race on the tyres with which they set their fastest time in Q2. All other drivers will be able to use the set that is saved for Q3 during the race

Australia - selected tyre sets per driver