F1 2016: Japanese GP Tyre Choices

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

DRIVER Hard Medium Soft
Lewis Hamilton 3 2 8
Nico Rosberg 2 3 8
Sebastian Vettel 3 1 9
Kimi Raikkonen 2 2 9
Valtteri Bottas 3 3 7
Felipe Massa 2 4 7
Daniel Ricciardo 4 3 6
Max Verstappen 4 3 6
Kevin Magnussen 4 2 7
Jolyon Palmer 3 3 7
Nico Hulkenberg 4 2 7
Sergio Perez 4 2 7
Daniil Kvyat 4 2 7
Carlos Sainz 3 3 7
Fernando Alonso 3 3 7
Jenson Button 3 3 7
Marcus Ericsson 2 3 8
Felipe Nasr 2 3 8
Pascal Wehrlein 3 4 6
Esteban Ocon 3 4 6
Romain Grosjean 3 3 7
Esteban Gutierrez 2 4 7
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F1 2016: Hungarian GP Tyre Choices

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

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

Pirelli confirm tyre test schedule for 2017 spec tyres

From 2017 onwards Pirelli will be introducing a wider tyre in line with the new regulations.

Pirelli have already been carrying out tyre testing with Ferrari and Red Bull but using the current tyre widths with prototype materials and structures. The testing has been carried out at Fiorano and Paul Ricard, and three more circuits are set to join the testing calendar.

There will be ten sessions over 24 days in which the 2017 tyres will be tested, starting with a two day event at Fiorano with Ferrari. This will take place on 1st & 2nd of August on an artificially dampened track to test the intermediate and full wet tyres. On 3rd & 4th August Red Bull will test the slick tyres for the first time at Mugello. The testing will take place using modified 2015 specification cars. Three teams will initially take part in the testing – Ferrari and Red Bull being joined by Mercedes. They will be obliged to share all the data gathered during the tests with all other teams.

The testing schedule will be as follows:

  1. August 1st & 2nd – Ferrari – Fiorano – Wets
  2. August 3rd & 4th – Red Bull – Mugello – Slicks
  3. September 6th & 7th – Ferrari – Barcelona – Slicks
  4. September 6th – 8th – Mercedes – Paul Ricard – Slicks
  5. September 21st & 22nd – Mercedes – Paul Ricard – Wets
  6. October 12th & 13th – Mercedes – Barcelona – Slicks
  7. October 14th – 16th – Red Bull – Abu Dhabi – Slicks
  8. November 2nd & 3rd – Red Bull – Abu Dhabi – Wets
  9. November 14th – 16th – Ferrari – Abu Dhabi – Slicks
  10. November 29th – ALL TEAMS – Abu Dhabi – Both

The test day at Abu Dhabi at the end of the season will see all 11 teams get to trial the 2017 spec tyres – which will be 60mm wider for the front tyres and 80mm wider for the rear tyres – to validate the data from the previous tests.

 

As well as the aforementioned specific tyre test dates the following tests will also take place:

  1. 12th & 13th July – Mercedes – Silverstone – Slicks
  2. 16th July – Ferrari – Fiorano – Wets
  3. 18th & 19th July – Red Bull – Vallelunga – Slicks

These are with the prototype 2016 spec tyres, and not the 2017 tyres. Mercedes will carry out this testing during the official Silverstone test at which ten other teams will be present.

Pirelli to continue as sole F1 tyre supplier until at least 2019

Pirelli will continue as Formula One’s sole tyre supplier until at least 2019, it has been confirmed.

The deal was initially completed during the winter – but had not been formalised – when the FIA and Pirelli agreed major changes to the technical regulations for 2017. This includes the introduction of wider tyres.

In order to prepare for the changes Pirelli had put forward the need to modify the sporting regulations regarding tyre testing. As a result they will be able to carry out tests with 2012, 2013 and 2014 specification cars using ‘prototype elements’ in order to prepare for next season.

They will also be allowed a total of 25 days of testing with modified 2015 cars. For this test prototype tyres in 2017 size will be used.

While the first type of testing- prototype elements with current sized tyres – is currently underway, the second type is due to start in the summer. A testing programme has been agreed between the FIA and participating teams.

 

F1 2016: Canadian Grand Prix Tyre Choices

Tyre choices for the Canadian Grand Prix are as follows:

DRIVER Soft Supersoft Ultrasoft
Lewis Hamilton 3 2 8
Nico Rosberg 3 2 8
Sebastian Vettel 3 3 7
Kimi Raikkonen 3 3 7
Valtteri Bottas 2 4 7
Felipe Massa 3 3 7
Daniel Ricciardo 4 2 7
Max Verstappen 4 2 7
Kevin Magnussen 5 0 8
Jolyon Palmer 5 0 8
Nico Hulkenberg 4 3 6
Sergio Perez 4 3 6
Daniil Kvyat 2 4 7
Carlos Sainz 2 4 7
Fernando Alonso 3 4 6
Jenson Button 3 4 6
Marcus Ericsson 2 5 6
Felipe Nasr 2 5 6
Pascal Wehrlein 3 4 6
Rio Haryanto 3 4 6
Romain Grosjean 3 0 10
Esteban Gutierrez 3 0 10

Once again the Ultra Soft tyre is the compound most favoured by teams although not as heavily as it was in Monaco. The distribution between the three compounds for 9 of the 11 teams is a lot more evenly spread.

The Supersoft compound is not mandatory at the Canadian Grand Prix so Renault and Haas have chosen not to bring any to the race.

Mercedes untouchable at Belgian Grand Prix

Mercedes dominated the Belgian Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton leading yet another 1-2 finish for the team. The pair finished over 30 seconds clear of third placed driver Romain Grosjean, who qualified fourth before dropping to ninth with a grid penalty.

There was a lot of focus on the race start after new regulations surrounding what drivers can and cannot say to their drivers in the moments just prior to the lights going out. A couple of drivers were slow away on the formation lap but it went without any major problems in the race start proper. There was an aborted start following problems for Nico Hulkenberg on the grid. The Force India driver reported loss of power on his out-lap to the grid, and had been advised by his team to return to the pits at the end of the warm up lap. The team then changed their mind and told Hulkenberg to take the race start as they believed the problem was resolving itself. This was not the case and Hulkenberg was wheeled back into the pits. Carlos Sainz also had his own problems and was asked to return to the pit-lane prior to the start.

When the lights went out it was Sergio Perez who made the biggest impression, going from fourth to second as Nico Rosberg dropped to fifth. Perez made an attempt to take the lead of the race but Hamilton but failed to get past and that proved to be his only opportunity. Pastor Maldonado became an early retirement from the race as his car quickly slowed due to engine problems. He was able to make it back to the pits. Other retirements from the race were Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz.

After Ricciardo retired on track following the final chicane, the Virtual Safety Car was used, neutralising the speed of all the cars on track. The Mercedes duo were pulling away at the front of the field and it was Sebastian Vettel who slotted into third race. He became a late retirement after a tyre delamination in the final couple of laps. After a pit-stop on the 14th lap of the race, Vettel was attempting to go to the end on the medium tyres but he failed to make it. He had found himself under pressure from Grosjean but had been keeping himself ahead of the Lotus driver, with the Ferrari benefiting from good straight line speed. Vettel had called for another pit-stop but the team chose to leave him out.

Daniil Kvyat backed up his strong showing at the Hungarian Grand Prix – where he got his first podium – put in a strong end to the race to finish in fourth. Fresher tyres allowed him to catch and pass the cars ahead. Perez eventually finished fifth, ahead of Felipe Massa in sixth. Vettel’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen – who started 16th following problems in qualifying and a gearbox penalty – finished the race in seventh with Max Verstappen eighth, Valtteri Bottas ninth and Marcus Ericsson tenth. Williams suffered a pit-stop blunder which saw Bottas’ car fitted with one medium tyre and three softs – a breach of the regulations. Bottas was given a drive through penalty for the mistake but he still managed to salvaged a couple of points.

Felipe Nasr finished in 11th ahead of the McLaren duo of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Button suffered problems throughout the race including a lack of power, allowing his team-mate to pull away from him. Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens were classified in 15th and 16th with Vettel classified 12th despite not finishing the race.

It was another crushing performance by the Mercedes team, following their disappointment in Hungary. The next race is in two weeks time at Ferrari’s home race of Monza.

Lewis Hamilton signals intent with fastest time in FP1 in Shanghai

After losing the top step of the podium to Ferrari in Malaysia, Mercedes returned to the top of the pile in the first free practice session in China. Lewis Hamilton’s best time was half a second faster than his nearest challenger team-mate Nico Rosberg.

At the start of the session a number of cars instantly took to the track for installation laps, leaving Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen and both Mercedes in the garage. The first time of the day came from Rosberg and it was a 1:41.052. He improved to a 1:39.574 by the end of the session. Following a brief lull in action after the first half an hour, when drivers have an additional set of tyres which they must return at this stage, Rosberg had a lock-up and ran wide. Other drivers had their own moments including Jenson Button in the McLaren, Hamilton, and Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat.

Carlos Sainz complained of having no power on the straights but an earlier time was enough to see him fourth in the times with an hour of the session complete. He eventually finished in eighth place, two seconds down on the Mercedes pace. Up at the top it was last race’s winner Sebastian Vettel who got closest to the Mercedes, albeit six tenths off Rosberg’s time. Raikkonen ended up fourth, ahead of Felipe Nasr, Ricciardo, Kvyat, and the aforementioned Sainz. Valtteri Bottas was the lead Williams in ninth just a thousandth of a second ahead of Felipe Massa.

The session saw Jolyon Palmer get his first Friday running of the year for Lotus, taking over Romain Grosean’s car for the session. He finished a respectable 15th place just six tenths off Pastor Maldonado’s time in eleventh. Both drivers had ‘moments’ during the session as Palmer had a spin and Maldonado ran wide but both were able to continue. Max Verstappen was twelfth in the session ahead of Button, Marcus Ericsson, Palmer, Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso, Nico Hulkenberg, and the Manor duo of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi.

Times from the first practice session:

  1. Lewis Hamilton – 1:39.033 – 21 laps
  2. Nico Rosberg – 1:39.574 – 21 laps
  3. Sebastian Vettel – 1:40.157 – 18 laps
  4. Kimi Raikkonen – 1:40.661 – 27 laps
  5. Felipe Nasr – 1:41.012 – 18 laps
  6. Daniel Ricciardo – 1:41.029 – 21 laps
  7. Daniil Kvyat – 1:41.097 – 24 laps
  8. Carlos Sainz – 1:41.112 – 23 laps
  9. Valtteri Bottas – 1:41.303 – 23 laps
  10. Felipe Massa – 1:41.304 – 17 laps
  11. Pastor Maldonado – 1:41.335 – 23 laps
  12. Max Verstappen – 1:41.575 – 28 laps
  13. Jenson Button – 1:41.845 – 19 laps
  14. Marcus Ericsson – 1:41.918 – 24 laps
  15. Jolyon Palmer – 1:41.967 – 25 laps
  16. Sergio Perez – 1:42.141 – 22 laps
  17. Fernando Alonso – 1:42.161 – 20 laps
  18. Nico Hulkenberg – 1:42.184 – 19 laps
  19. Will Stevens – 1:45.379 – 18 laps
  20. Roberto Merhi – 1:46.443 – 20 laps