F1 2016: Russian Grand Prix Tyre Choices

Driver tyre choices for the Russian Grand Prix are as follows:

DRIVER Medium Soft Supersoft
Lewis Hamilton 1 4 8
Nico Rosberg 1 4 8
Sebastian Vettel 1 6 6
Kimi Raikkonen 1 6 6
Valtteri Bottas 1 3 9
Felipe Massa 1 3 9
Daniel Ricciardo 1 2 10
Daniil Kvyat 1 2 10
Kevin Magnussen 1 5 7
Jolyon Palmer 1 5 7
Nico Hulkenberg 1 4 8
Sergio Perez 1 4 8
Max Verstappen 1 4 8
Carlos Sainz 1 4 8
Fernando Alonso 1 5 7
Jenson Button 1 5 7
Marcus Ericsson 1 5 7
Felipe Nasr 1 5 7
Pascal Wehrlein 2 5 6
Rio Haryanto 2 5 6
Romain Grosjean 1 2 10
Esteban Gutierrez 1 2 10

Once again Pirelli have brought the Medium, Soft and Supersoft tyres. For the first time this season there are no variations on tyre choices between team-mates, but there are big differences between teams.

While the Medium tyre has been favoured at other tracks it is largely the Super Soft this weekend. All teams, bar Manor, have selected just one set of the Medium compound. Manor has opted for two sets per driver.

Mercedes has chosen four sets of Softs with eight of the Super Soft, while Ferrari has split its selection evenly between the two compounds. Red Bull has gone all out with the Super Softs – choosing ten sets to just two Softs. Williams has gone for an in-between strategy to Mercedes and Red Bull.


Fernando Alonso provisionally cleared to race in China subject to conditions

Fernando Alonso has been given the go ahead by the FIA to participate in this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

Question marks had been raised over whether or not the Spaniard would be allowed to race following being made to sit out the Bahrain Grand Prix. The FIA deemed he was not fit to race following the injuries he picked up in his heavy Austrailian Grand Prix crash.

A statement released by the FIA states that Alonso may participate in FP1 but must then undergo further examinations following that session. This will then determine whether or not he can continue with the remainder of the weekend.


Lewis Hamilton to take 5 place grid drop

Lewis Hamilton will take a 5 place grid penalty this weekend due to a gearbox change.

The team discovered issues with his gearbox following the Bahrain Grand Prix, however, they do not believe it had anything to do with his turn one contact with Valtteri Bottas.

Mercedes have chosen to take the hit of a penalty now rather than risk a failure in the race. The Shanghai International Circuit offers ample opportunities for overtaking particularly with its two long straights. Hamilton’s penalty will mean he will start the Chinese Grand Prix sixth at best.

Hamilton has started the last two races from pole position but both have been won by his team-mate. This means Nico Rosberg currently has a 17 point lead.

Qualifying to revert to 2015 system from Chinese Grand Prix

Qualifying will revert to the 2015 system as soon as the Chinese Grand Prix, pending confirmation from the World Motorsport Council and F1 Commission.

The new elimination format for 2016 has received a lot of criticism after the first two races of the season and it looks like a way forward has finally been agreed between the FIA, FOM and the teams.

Team bosses had previously met on Sunday at the Bahrain Grand Prix but no solution was decided. Talks of an aggregate time system had been proposed but in the end teams united to request a return to the 2015 format.

The new system was rushed through with no proper testing and met mixed reviews at the season opener in Australia. Many felt that Q1 and Q2 worked but the pole position shoot out was heavily criticised. In Melbourne Sebastian Vettel – who qualified third – had time to change into his jeans before the end of the final session as pole was decided with four minutes to go. Much of the sessions were spent clock watching with many drivers opting to stay in the garage instead of getting out on track. One major flaw in the elimination format was the fact that drivers on a flying lap were not able to complete it if their time ran out while on track.

A joint statement from the FIA and FOM today said:

At the unanimous request of the teams in a letter received today, Jean Todt, President of the FIA, and Bernie Ecclestone, commercial rights holder representative, accepted, in the interests of the Championship, to submit a proposal to the F1 Commission and World Motor Sport Council to revert to the qualifying format in force in 2015.

This proposal, if approved by the F1 governing bodies, will take effect as from the Chinese Grand Prix and will apply for the rest of the season.

Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestone welcomed the idea put forward by the teams to have a global assessment of the format of the weekend for 2017.


F1 2016: Chinese Grand Prix Tyre Choices

Driver tyre choices for the Chinese Grand Prix have been revealed.

DRIVER Medium Soft Supersoft
Lewis Hamilton 4 4 5
Nico Rosberg 3 5 5
Sebastian Vettel 3 4 6
Kimi Raikkonen 3 4 6
Valtteri Bottas 2 4 7
Felipe Massa 1 5 7
Daniel Ricciardo 2 5 6
Daniil Kvyat 2 5 6
Kevin Magnussen 2 5 6
Jolyon Palmer 3 4 6
Nico Hulkenberg 2 5 6
Sergio Perez 2 5 6
Max Verstappen 3 5 5
Carlos Sainz 2 6 5
Fernando Alonso 2 4 7
Jenson Button 2 4 7
Marcus Ericsson 5 4 4
Felipe Nasr 5 4 4
Pascal Wehrlein 4 5 4
Rio Haryanto 4 5 4
Romain Grosjean 1 5 7
Esteban Gutierrez 2 5 7

The new three compound rule has proven to be popular so far, with teams able to deploy a wider variety of strategies through the race. Once again Mercedes and Ferrari have varied in their choices, with the Ferrari pair opting for more sets of the Supersoft compound. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have also made different decisions wit Hamilton choosing one extra set of the Medium compound.

Elsewhere the Williams, Renault, Toro Rosso, and Haas team-mates have decided to differ from each other. The remaining teams – Red Bull, McLaren, Manor, Force India and Sauber – have all seen their drivers pick the same as their team-mates.

F1 2016: Bahrain Grand Prix Tyre Choices

Tyre choices for the Bahrain Grand Prix have been confirmed.

DRIVER Medium Soft Supersoft
Lewis Hamilton 1 6 6
Nico Rosberg 1 6 6
Sebastian Vettel 3 4 6
Kimi Raikkonen 3 4 6
Valtteri Bottas 3 3 7
Felipe Massa 3 3 7
Daniel Ricciardo 2 5 6
Daniil Kvyat 2 5 6
Kevin Magnussen 1 5 7
Jolyon Palmer 1 5 7
Nico Hulkenberg 2 5 6
Sergio Perez 2 5 6
Max Verstappen 1 5 7
Carlos Sainz 2 5 6
Stoffel Vandoorne 3 4 6
Jenson Button 3 4 6
Marcus Ericsson 3 5 5
Felipe Nasr 4 4 5
Pascal Wehrlein 4 5 4
Rio Haryanto 4 5 4
Romain Grosjean 2 4 7
Esteban Gutierrez 1 5 7

Mercedes and Ferrari have gone for very differing strategies but this time team-mates for the two teams have gone for the same as each other. The only teams with differing strategies between team-mates are Toro Rosso and Haas.

Superpole qualifying for Ulster Grand Prix

Ulster Grand Prix race organisers have announced that they will introduce a Superpole session for 2016 in the Superbike class.

Following the news that road closures will be extended this year, there will be a new session added to the order on Thursday.  The fastest 12 riders in the Superbike practice session will return to the grid later that day for a special timed event. Outside of the top 12, riders will start from 13th onwards based on their qualifying practice times.

“I’ve wanted to introduce a Superpole session at the Ulster for a while,” Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston revealed. “Now that we’ve reshuffled our practice timings we are able to accommodate it. The session will consist of one individual warm up lap immediately followed by two individual laps for each of the top 12 Superbike riders, allowing them an opportunity to secure their eventual grid position on a fair basis. It’s an added bonus for the spectators too, as each rider will attempt their fastest lap on a clear track, without obstacles or direct competition.”


“It’s a bit of a shake up for us but I believe it will be extremely well received for the roads,” he continued. “We’re looking forward to what will surely be an electric qualifier. The thought of watching Michael Dunlop, Ian Hutchinson, hopefully Guy Martin and some of the other big names out on track, on their own, pushing the bikes on a flying lap is a spectacle not to be missed.”

The format is used in World Superbikes and is being introduced in the British Superbikes for this season.