The FIA has published heavily revised rules regarding the use of tyres for the 2016 season in the new sporting regulations.
From 2016 drivers will be able to choose two from three different specifications of tyre for each race selected by official tyre supplier Pirelli, albeit with various restrictions in place on which types of tyre they can use and when.
Teams must notify the FIA of their choice of tyres for each event 14 weeks in advance for races held outside Europe and eight weeks in advance for races held within Europe. The deadline for the first race of next season will therefore be on December 17th this year.
Teams will be given the following information about the available specifications of tyres one week before each deadline: Which tyre specifications will be made available by the supplier, the a maximum of two mandatory dry-weather race tyre specifications and the mandatory dry‐weather Q3 tyre specification (which will always be the softest of the three).
If Pirelli chooses two mandatory dry-weather tyre specifications teams must reserve at least one of each specification of tyre for the race.
The FIA has also moved to stop drivers running for a prolonged length of time on a mixed set of tyres, as Valtteri Bottas did during this year’s Belgian Grand Prix. Any driver who is fitted with tyres of more than one specification must pit to have them changed within three laps.
2016 F1 tyre regulations
24.1 Supply of tyres:
The single tyre manufacturer (the Supplier) appointed by the FIA must undertake to provide:
a) Three specifications of dry-weather tyre at each Event, each of which must be visibly distinguishable from one another when a car is on the track.
b) At certain Events one additional specification of dry-weather tyre may be made available to all teams for evaluation purposes following a recommendation to the FIA from the Supplier. Teams will be informed about such an additional specification at least one week before the start of the relevant Event.
c) One specification of intermediate tyre at each Event.
d) One specification of wet-weather tyre at each Event.
24.2 Quantity, selection and specification of tyres during an Event:
a) Except under Article 24.1(b) and Article 24.4(d), no driver may use more than thirteen sets of dry-weather tyres, four sets of intermediate tyres and three sets of wet-weather tyres during an Event. A complete set of tyres will be deemed to comprise two front and two rear tyres all of which must be of the same specification.
b) No less than nine weeks before the start of each Event held in Europe, and fifteen weeks before the start of each Event held outside Europe, the FIA will provide all competitors with the following information relevant to the Event in question:
i) Which tyre specifications will be made available by the Supplier.
ii) The mandatory dry-weather race tyre specification(s) (up to two).
iii) The mandatory dry-weather Q3 tyre specification (which will always be the softest of the three specifications).
Competitors must then inform the FIA, no less than eight weeks before the start of each Event held in Europe and fourteen weeks before the start of each Event held outside Europe, which specifications of dry-weather tyres they wish to use for each of their drivers at the Event. From the thirteen sets of dry-weather tyres available to each driver:
i) At least two sets must be of the mandatory race tyre specification(s). For the avoidance of doubt, if there are two mandatory race tyre specifications, one of each must be chosen.
ii) At least one set must be of the mandatory Q3 tyre specification.
iii) The remaining sets may be chosen from the available tyre specifications.
Once the FIA has been provided with this information by all competitors the Supplier will be informed. If a competitor fails to provide the above information before the deadline the FIA will allocate tyre specifications to any driver concerned as it deems appropriate.
c) Once the above selections have been made the FIA technical delegate will allocate tyres to each driver from among the stock of tyres the Supplier makes available for the Event.
24.3 Control of tyres:
a) The outer sidewall of all tyres which are to be used at an Event must be marked with a unique identification.
b) Other than in cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the stewards of the meeting), all tyres intended for use at an Event must be presented to the FIA technical delegate for allocation prior to the end of initial scrutineering.
c) At any time during an Event, and at his absolute discretion, the FIA technical delegate may select alternative dry-weather tyres to be used by any team or driver from among the stock of tyres the appointed supplier has present at the Event.
d) A competitor wishing to replace one unused tyre by another identical unused one must present both tyres to the FIA technical delegate.
e) The use of tyres without appropriate identification may result in a grid position penalty or exclusion from the race.
24.4 Use of tyres:
a) Tyres will only be deemed to have been used once the car’s timing transponder has shown that it has left the pit lane.
b) If an additional driver is used (see Article 26.1(b)) he must use the tyres allocated to the nominated driver he replaced.
c) If an additional specification of dry-weather tyre is made available in accordance with Article 24.1(a) two sets of these tyres will be allocated to each driver for use during P1 and P2. Any such tyres must be returned to the Supplier before the start of P3.
d) If either P1 or P2 are declared wet one additional set of intermediate tyres will be made available to all drivers. Under such circumstances, one used set of intermediate tyres must be returned to the tyre supplier before the start of P3.
e) From the thirteen sets of dry-weather tyres allocated to each driver under Article 24.2(c):
i) One set of the mandatory Q3 tyre specification may not be used nor returned before Q3 and, for the cars that qualified for Q3, must be returned to the Supplier before the start of the race.
ii) Two sets of the mandatory race specification(s) may not be returned before the race. For the avoidance of doubt, if there are two mandatory race tyre specifications, one set of each specification may not be returned before the race.
From the ten remaining sets:
iii) One set may only be used during the first 40 minutes of P1 and must be returned to the Supplier before the start of P2.
ii) One further set must be returned to the Supplier before the start of P2.
iii) Two further sets must be returned to the Supplier before the start of P3 unless both P1 and P2 are either declared wet or cancelled, in which case one of these sets may be retained by each driver but must be returned to the Supplier before the start of the qualifying practice session.
iv) Two further sets must be returned to the Supplier before the start of the qualifying practice session.
f) Prior to the start of the qualifying practice session intermediate and wet-weather tyres may only be used after the track has been declared wet by the race director, following which intermediate, wet or dry-weather tyres may be used for the remainder of the session.
g) At the start of the race each car which qualified for Q3 must be fitted with the tyres with which the driver set his fastest time during Q2. This will only be necessary for these cars if dry-weather tyres were used to set the fastest time in Q2 and if dry-weather tyres are used at the start of the race.
Any such tyres damaged during Q2 will be inspected by the FIA technical delegate who will decide, at his absolute discretion, whether any may be replaced and, if so, which tyres they should be replaced with.
A penalty under Article 38.3(d) will be imposed on any driver whose car is not fitted with the tyres with which he set his fastest time in Q2 (except if damaged tyres have been replaced with the approval of the FIA technical delegate).
h) Unless he has used intermediate or wet-weather tyres during the race, each driver must use at least two different specifications of dry-weather tyres during the race, at least one of which must be a mandatory dry-weather race tyre specification as defined in Article 24.2(b). Unless a race is suspended and cannot be re-started, failure to comply with this requirement will result in the exclusion of the relevant driver from the race results.
If the race is suspended and cannot be re-started, thirty seconds will be added to the elapsed time of any driver who was unable to use at least two specifications of dryweather tyre.
Any driver who uses a set of tyres of differing specifications during the race may not complete more than three laps on this set before changing them for a set of tyres of the same specification. A penalty under Article 38.3(d) will be imposed on any driver who does not change tyres within three laps. For the avoidance of doubt, a set of tyres of differing specifications will not be considered when assessing the number of specifications used during the race.
i) If the race is started behind the safety car because of heavy rain (see Article 39.16), or resumed in accordance with Article 42.5(a), the use of wet-weather tyres until the safety car returns to the pits is compulsory.
A penalty under Article 38.3(d) will be imposed on any driver who does not use wet weather tyres whilst the safety car is on the track at such times.
24.5 Testing of tyres:
a) Tyres supplied to any competitor at any time may not be used on any rig or vehicle (other than an F1 car on an F1 approved track, at the exclusion of any kind of road simulator), either Team owned or rented, providing measurements of forces and/or moments produced by a rotating full size F1 tyre, other than uniquely vertical forces, tyre rolling resistance and aerodynamic drag.
b) Tyres may be used on a test rig providing forces control and monitoring by F1 rim manufacturers for the sole purpose of proof testing their products
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