Pirelli announce tyre options for Bahrain, Spain and Monaco

2012 F1 season

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Pirelli have chosen their tyre compounds for the next three races on the F1 calendar.

Teams will have the choice of soft and medium tyres for the Bahrain Grand Prix, which will be the first time Pirelli has supplied tyres for an F1 race there.

Pirelli’s options for Spain and Monaco are the same as last year, although the soft and hard compounds are softer than they were 12 months ago.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Our nominations this year are designed to push the envelope of performance, as can be seen from our latest choices.

“Only the super soft tyre is the same compound as last year: the other compounds are softer and therefore faster, designed to encourage closer racing as well as a wider variety of strategies.”

Here is the full allocation announced so far:


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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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41 comments on “Pirelli announce tyre options for Bahrain, Spain and Monaco”

  1. Pirelli hoping create another thriller in China with Mediums instead of the Hard tyres this year; I have no complaints.

  2. lol as if there will be a race in Bahrain.

    1. There will be if Bernie has his way. Let’s just hope the insurance companies stop it from happening, eh? ;-)

      As for the tyres, I’ve always thought it would be hilarious/interesting to see Pirelli bring the super soft to somewhere like Malaysia or Bahrain. What’s the worst that could happen? :-P

      1. They’ll have to make a decision soon enough, with a fresh round of protests kicking off this week the most sensible thing to do may be to cancel the race.

      2. I’d personally like to see the full on tyre bonanza, something like super-softs and softs for Montreal. Yes, the degradation would be massive but everyone’s on the same boat so to speak.

        Apart from Sauber, they will one stop no matter what.

        Which upcoming tracks offer the biggest tyre degradation? I can’t be bothered to remember, as far as i know Silverstone have a very rough track surface, but i’m not sure.

        1. I think Canada is pretty notorious for tyre wear, even the bridgestones struggled the year they returned there as far as I remember. Last year wasn’t a very typical race, though. :)

        2. @randy As great as it would be for us it could turn very nasty for Pirelli. Sure, we all know the tyres are designed to behave such a way but once the media get a whiff of the furor surrounding a race with extremely high degradation, the uneducated may read into that negatively.

          1. @andrewtanner Actually when you just mention the word ‘motorsports’, the uneducated read into it negatively anyway.

        3. @randy @bs Canada has very high tyre GRAINING; there’s a difference. The Pirellis have degradation problems but suffers VERY low graining.

          The bridgestones however had little to no wear/degradation problems – and if a circuit could grain them; they would die quickly. Which is why the Pirellis wouldn’t have had a problem in Canada last year; but did in 2010.

          I’d bet on either Barcelona, Suzuka or Silverstone if you’re looking for a high-deg circuit though.

      3. @damonsmedley hideous blisters :P

    2. As a statement, they should have announced only the full wets for Bahrain.

  3. Those Bahrain compounds are softer than I expected. Could see a lot of degradation and an entertaining race, ditto Spain.

    1. If it happens, Bahrain will be interesting – it’s a circuit that the teams know, but they have never raced there with the Pirelli tyres.

      1. no say… sorry i guess teams keep getting surprised with the pirellis no matter what.

      2. @prisoner-monkeys Plus I imagine it will be pretty green, assuming no one else uses it with any regularity throughout the year.

  4. Would like to see a race where the hard and super-soft compounds are used.

    1. I completely agree, at least in Spain we will see the Soft and Hard compound used.

      Maybe a track like Brazil would be interesting with hard and super-soft, although it would probably be best to apply those combinations to a fairly boring track..

      1. the teams would qualify on the super-softs and pit fairly early in the race and finish the race on hards. the race would be pretty boring with teams managing the hards to last. no interesting strategies.

        the way Pirelli are doing it is better. they reduced the gap between the compounds encouraging teams to adopt different strategies giving us some unpredictability. So far its working out. I say stick to it.

  5. If Bahrain does go through then the race will be interesting because it will be hotter than if the race was held in March, which would put a little more load on engine and brake cooling as well as degradation.

  6. If the race goes ahead in Bahrain I imagine it will be the new track with that dreadful new middle section?
    That 2010 race was possibly the most boring affair I have ever watched.

    1. no, I believe they are going to use the old middle section, the pre-2010 one.

      1. without the middle section, bahrain as i recall is not that bad of a track still I have to go way back to remember some good fights.

    2. They said back then that they’d use the original version of the track again in 2011. Of course the race did not happen, but I guess they’ll mantain that decision this year (if it takes place, anyway).

      That middle sector was just stupid…

    3. That modification was made in celebration of the 60th year of Formula 1 I believe. I don’t think it was scheduled for 2011.

  7. I just hope the tyre choices/degredation don’t make passing too easy.

    While most seem to love what Pirelli have done I think that the tyres have made passing too easy & basically made the car on the slower compound or on older tyres a sitting duck that can do nothing to defend his position.

    I think this new style of F1 with Pirelli, KERS & DRS is starting to move away from what racing has always been about & is starting to go the Nascar direction of entertainment at the expence of actual racing & im not sure thats the right direction to be heading in.

    I’ve been following F1 since the Mid-60s when my Grandfather took me to Brands Hatch & I’ve loved it ever since. However sadly I’ve not really enjoyed at F1 race since 2010 primarily because of all this stuff they have brought in to artificially spice things up.

    I sometimes feel like im a dying breed of fan who just loved watching the cars & enjoyed watching proper, pure racing & who didn’t need a hundred easy passes a race to love the race.
    People say there was more overtaking in the past yet thats not actually true. I recall in the mid/late 60s watching many a processional race where there wasnt much overtaking yet nobody complained about no overtaking because that wasn’t what racing was ever really about, Think people have forgotten this more recently & are trying to turn F1 & racing in general into something it’s never been.

    1. Quick example.

      I recall been at Silverstone for the Gp in 1969 & watching Jackie Stewart been stuck behind Graham Hill for something like 30 laps & not been able to pass untill Graham picked up a slow puncture which caused him to slow & eventually pit.
      I recall many similar races back then, cars struggling to get close to the one ahead with no chance to try & overtake.

      People say this is a new thing caused by aerodynamics, However it was something which occured just as frequently pre-wings & just as often when aerodynamics was in its infancy through the 70s. Cars struggling to get/stay close to the car ahead & been unable to find a way past is nothing new, Its been something thats been a part of racing forever.

      The only races which really featured regular overtaking was the slipstreamers at Monza. People look back & seem to think that sort of racing was what happened all the time when it actually wasn’t.

      The Monza slipstreamers & races like Dijon 1979 were the exceptions rather than the rule & thats why they were special to watch at the time & why there looked back on so fondly.

      1. Sorry but you must have been in another dimension the 1969 British GP was one of the greatest wheel to wheel battles between two of the finest drivers of all time. Jochen Rindt led from Pole in his Lotus 49 followed by his great friend but strongest rival Jackie Stewart. These two drivers were at the top of their game and destroyed the rest of the field which consisted of 3 recent World Champions . Jochen had a puncture two thirds through the race and yes JS. did go on to win by over a lap, but he was not being held up , I was their greatest race I have ever seen.

        1. they showed that race on espn classic last year & the race i saw matched more what steve said (car behind getting close but never been able to complete the pass) although it was rindt/stewart rather tha graham hill as he said.

          anyway regardless of that i think his point is sound in that people do look back at those days thinking there was more overtaking than there actually was.

          i also share his view that much of the ‘passing’ we have seen with drs & the comedy tyres has been far too easy, i’ve also not enjoyed f1 since all these gimmicks came in last year.

          i’ve watched f1 since the mid 70s & have always loved watching the racing, if there was overtaking then great but i never went away from a race which featured no/little overtaking & thought it was a bad race providing there was some good racing going on to watch somewhere in the field.

          take imola 2006, only 1 overtake on track all race yet i still see that as a great race because there was a fantastic race between schumacher/alonso.

          i think people are far too hung up on passing now & have completely forgotten what racing is actually about & what makes a good race.

          i’d much rather have the pre-2011 f1 which featured proper racing than the post-2010 f1 that features ridiculously stupid artificial gimmicks & so much stupidly easy passing that its devalued not just overtaking but f1 as a whole.

          turned off half way through malaysia when drs started making things too easy & will no doubt be doing the same again through the year whenever drs or pirelli starts making passing a joke!

          based off the weekends indycar race it looks like thats where the real racing will be from now on.
          they don’t even have push to pass this year & still managed to put on more ‘real’ overtakes & more exciting overtaking in 1 race than f1 has in the past year.

          f1 should be looking at how to do that & not how to give silly speed boosts or stupid tyres to artificially force easy, boring & meaningless passing.

          1. All comments above, from SteveF1 down should be COTD!

          2. The gap between the two seesawed back and forward because Rindt could not get away and Stewart could only just keep up ,to understand the pace of these two you would have to study the relative performance of the driver car combinations. Rindt was quicker on one lap but Stewart was generally more consistent in their relative cars. However in F2 ,where they also competed directly in the same era ,Rindt was dominant.

    2. I can support Kers and DRS. because it has been nearly impossible for a following car to overtake a slower car in front because of turbulence but I am sorry I do not understand what the purpose of these self destruct tyres is. I thought F1 was fastest driver in best car wins or crashes in the attempt.Can someone explain why in the pinnacle of Motorsport why the product in closest contact to the circuit has been designed to fall apart below the maximum potential of the driver car combination.

      1. I can support Kers and DRS. because it has been nearly impossible for a following car to overtake a slower car in front because of turbulence

        people say that yet without drs & kers in 2010 there was still more overtaking than any year since 1989.

        i still hold the opinion that drs & kers do nothing but produce dull, boring, easy & unexciting passing that does not actually improve the actual racing.
        not enjoyed a single drs or kers related ‘pass’, most have been just as boring to watch as the races pre-2011 supposedly were!

        im seriously starting to consider just giving up on f1 because of all this artificial nonsence we now have.

      2. @jpowell First of all, F1 is not predominantly meant to be the fastest formula, just the toughest. Their top speeds are lower than Indy Car I believe. However, the difference kicks in with aero which is where the creativity really comes alive. No other racing formula in the world has such varied and ultimately infinite permutations that can contribute to a race win. You can race the hell out of a car, but if it won’t grip in the corner, you won’t score well. This is where the team ethic really comes in to play. It is a team sport and team decisions must be made involving the driver so he knows when he should be making fuel allowance or when he should be pitting for tyres.

        These 24 drivers are among the best in the world, if not the very best. We know they can race, they have proved that before reaching F1. Now they have to sure they can THINK and race which is a much greater test.

        The tyres are designed to fall apart so the teams can display and use their wealth of knowledge to still win a race with all these permutations in place.

        1. I am sorry but what I ment was the fastest car and driver in the race , I would still like to know why the tyres have been designed to last less than a lap at maximum load. In many cases the pace falls off before the end of the lap in qualifying ,in the race a driver cannot truly attack the car in front because the limit of the tyre is well below the cars limit.

    3. I’m with you guys. Nice to know there are other voices out there who dislike these circus tyres.

      I know preserving tyres takes skill, but haven’t we gone a little too far? Well, if the majority like them then we’ll just have to live with it I guess.

  8. I was doing some digging/research other week, looking at tyre compounds for races, there was some V. interesting ones with Bridgestone,

  9. Spain’s tyre choice which a larger gap between compounds is possibly a sign of things to come, if it works. It seems to be a ploy to allow more ‘racing,’ but realistically, more overtakes. Possibly could be a good thing, but who knows whether it will throw up some good, odd results and some honest racing, or just make it too easy.

  10. If I remember correctly, Bridgestone brought hard and.super-soft tyres to a race once – Germany ’08 I think. But their tyres were much more conservative than Pirelli’s so it didn’t make much difference.

    1. Germany 2008 I don’t remember – but they did to Germany 2010 (Hockenheim). Maybe Ferrari’s radio transmissions suppressed your memory of the race Keith ;)

  11. I like the tyres but not kers or drs. If the tyres just stayed constant the racing would be 2 dimensional, just hammer lap after lap without valid racing skills of pushing the limit whilst looking after something. In years past drivers had to be so precise with revs and gears whilst pushing the limits but these days this is taken care of by electronics. The tyres are a substitute for the watching of revs and sympathetic gear changes of yester year. With hard tyres todays racing would be like a computer game.

  12. these tyre choices should be made random, to spicen up the racing, meaning the spanish grand prix

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