Tyre, Sochi Autodrom, 2015

FIA publishes overhauled 2016 tyre rules

2016 F1 season

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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

2016 F1 season

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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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  • 64 comments on “FIA publishes overhauled 2016 tyre rules”

    1. For us fans it’s simple, read the second paragraph and nothing more. For teams and drivers however…

    2. So, Australia may well be a total casino, what with the deadline weeks before any testing?

    3. The best part about this rule is probably giving clarity about mixed sets and having to stop to change them out

    4. FIA rules have reached a level in which I just cannot comprehend 75% of them. This one for instance, seems so overly complicated that I’m not even willing to learn it.

      I’ll just take what Brundle and Co. says as granted.

      1. Why do you think so many race engineers have PhDs? :/

      2. FIA rules have reached a level in which I just cannot comprehend 75% of them.

        I think the rules reached that level decades ago, at least for your average man-on-the-street. The difference is that they are more visible now.

        These rules aren’t that complicated, really. They are just worded in such legalese that they don’t make much sense. Even people trying to explain them in simple words don’t seem to have got their head around how to yet.

        My interpretation:
        – Pirelli offer 3 compounds per race.
        – Teams must pick a combination of tyres (12 sets? I can’t remember the number).
        – Teams must choose 2 of the compounds for use in the race. One or both will be dictated by Pirelli.
        – Teams must use the softest available compound in Q3.

        If I have it right, this is the bones of it, and all the majority will need to know. Only a small amount more complicated than what we have now.

    5. . The deadline for the first race of next season will therefore be on December 13th this year.

      Teams will be given the following information about the available specifications of tyres one week before each deadline

      So we should already know what tyres will be available at Australia?

      1. @hoshino I understand the teams have until the 17th to make their first selection, not the 13th as originally written (amended above).

      2. We could but AFAIK the original plan was to disclose the selections to the public only two weeks before each race. (That’s not to say it won’t leak, especially the early season ones, given the vacuum of information usually plaguing the off season.)

    6. Any driver who is fitted with tyres of more than one specification must pit to have them changed within three laps.

      Why do they have to ruin all the fun? New rules for everything when one unique mistake happens. What is the point, it was so exciting to see how Bottas would survive like that, just let it go.

      1. @strontium Because teams may look to take advantage of that rule. For instance say, in China, which is a front-limited circuit (especially front-left) teams may choose a harder compound of tyre specifically for that front-left, and they will quite gladly take a 5 or 10 sec penalty for it. Although it may unhinge the car’s balance etc. the FIA just can’t count on it.

        1. @mashiat they would still get a penalty like a drive through, there’s just no need for a specific rule about it.

    7. Penalty points system. Superlicence points system. 5s, 10s in-race penalties. Ever-changing tyre pressure limits. Engine penalties. Now over-complicated tyre useage.

      Yeah, great way to bring in the new fans.

    8.  

      a maximum of two mandatory dry-­weather race tyre specifications 

      Two mandatory dry – weather tyres?!?

      1. “Specifications” would mean “compounds”. This does not include the compulsory “qualifying” ultrasoft tyre set. It’s probably easier if we say that there will be harder “race” and softer “option” tyres, with a “qualifying” ultrasoft as well.

    9. Based on article 24.2, teams will have to pick their tyres for at least the first three races of the year before they’re done any testing. Four races if Russia is considered a non-European round.

      1. I predict the first three/four races will see a number of very surprising results due to unfortunate tyre choices, after which the established order will restore itself, and Mercedes run away with another pair of titles.

        1. @raceprouk Not necessarily, most team can chose a 5-5-4 combination (and 5-4-5 for the other driver ?) which should be fine to do free practice testing and pick the best strategy (in their opinion) for the race…

          Can picks be different for both drivers ? Nothing seems to say otherwise.

          1. Extract from 24.2, b, iii
            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.

      2. Yes, it’s going to be fun trying to guess which team will choose an untried tyre for a race before they even have any idea of where in the weather cycle the race is likely to be run. Another win for Maldonado ? Maybe a team like Manor or Sauber can boost their income by running the new compounds and selling other teams the data acquired.

        1. So far it was Pirelli doing the picks more or less just as far ahead of the races, wasn’t it? I don’t see that much change here, apart from giving teams the option to try and match the tyres better to their cars characteristics.

    10. So quite a few fans are annoyed at the various rules around tyres and the ever increasing rule book, what do the FIA do? More rules, all of them on tyres, all of them complicated.

      Nice work.

    11. I find it so unnecesseraly complicated that we shouldn’t even know. what’s the point? Is there any clear reason for this, which is going to make a better show?

      1. It’s an attempt to get the increased variety of tyres demanded by the teams, without upsetting Pirelli or the FIA.

    12. So teams wanted free tyre choice.

      FIA and Pirelli said ok you can choose any colour you like as long as it’s black.

      1. FIA and Pirelli thus went full Henry Ford. (Moral of the story? Never go full Henry Ford.)

        1. It’s a nice quote, but there’s no evidence Henry Ford actually said “You can have any colour you like, so long as it’s black.” In fact, in the early years of the Model T, you couldn’t even get a black one, even if you wanted it :)

    13. They forgot the mud tyres….

      For wading through the rules!

      1. I’m sure if Pirelli made them, there would be a compulsory brown-striped “megamud” tyre for that exact purpose!

    14. @keithcollantine I find this sentence confusing “From 2016 drivers will be able to choose two from three different specifications of tyre for each race selected by official tyre supplier Pirelli”

      I couldn’t see anywhere in those rules that says the set of 13 dry tyres for the weekend couldn’t be a combination of all 3 compounds, if the driver/team so chooses with their free choices.

      1. You’ve selected Keith’s text there mate. “From 2016 drivers will be able to choose.…” Drivers don’t choose anything except their shoe size. Teams do the technical and strategic choosing.

      2. The tyres can be any of three compounds. However, if Pirelli only chooses one dry non-ultrasoft compound, the driver/team does not need to select any sets from the other unless they want to do so.

    15. My head hurts…

    16. My separation agreement is a walk in the park compared to this complicated mess. Wow!

    17. The way I read the rules is thus.

      Pirelli specifies it’s 3 chosen dry weather compounds for a race, for sake of ease let’s just call them
      S = softest available compound
      M = medium available compound
      H = hardest available compound

      Each driver gets 13 sets.

      Sets 1-10: Can be free choice by driver/team, can be either S/M/H compound. No limits on number and mixture of compounds. (They could choose ten all the same compound, or 3 or 4 of each)

      Set 11 Can be S/M/H compound, must be retained until race (can be used before)
      Set 12: Can be S/M/H compound, must be retained until race (can be used before)
      Set 13: Always S compound, must be retained and can only be used in Q3

      Usage (For ease let’s assume the time each set is handed back is in rough numerical order)

      Set 1: Can only be run during first 40 mins of P1, and handed back before start of P2
      Set 2: Handed back before start of P2
      Sets 3 & 4: Handed back before start of P3
      Sets 5 & 6: Handed back before start of Qualifying

      At start of qualifying driver has seven sets available.
      Sets 7-10 (chosen by driver/team)
      Sets 11 & 12 (chosen by Pirelli)
      Set 13 (softest compound available) which they may (does not say they must) only use if they get to Q3.

      During the race drivers will then have sets 7-12 available to them. They must run at least 2 sets which are of different compounds, and they must run either set 11 or 12 (do not need to run both) at some point during the race.

      Personally I think it’s more straightforward then it’s been made out to be, and be interested to see what teams like Force India (and Perez in particular) do with their free choices. I’m expecting some strange grids and late race runs up the leader board next year.

      1. You have done an admirable job of simplifying and condensing these rules, but my mind still went into standby mode before I got 2/3rd of the way through.

      2. I could explain the entire Game of Thrones plot in the amount of words you just used to break down in simple terms just the tyre allocation rule of F1.

      3. Thank you, sir, you are a saint.
        Finally I understand this tyre rule allocation rule! Now I’ll have to refer to this in every race until F1 dreams up some other convoluted rule…

      4. For the race, in 1 sentence:
        Every driver has to use 1 set of tyres designated by Pirelli and 1 set of a different compound. For the rest they’re free to do what they want.

        It’s a very easy regulation.

      5. Dan, that’s a great summary of the rule. However, just to underline how arcane this version of the rules is, anyone not making it to Q3 is permitted to use the ultrasoft (S in your coding) in the race instead of handing them back to Pirelli unused, if they so desire (noting the tyre is unlikely ever to last more than 5 laps, except possibly at Monaco). Perhaps a better way of phrasing it is that Set 13 can’t be used until Q3.

    18. So, in a nutshell, the casual viewer may indeed see more variety in tyre strategies, but for those following the race weekends more closely, this will result in a few more tweets, articles, pieces of info to look at or share (or both, see media), namely 1) the initial tyre selection tables two weeks before each events, and, at the very least, 2) the remaining sets Sunday morning. (With possibly further news in the intermittent period, if the drivers’ tyre use differs significantly.)

      In practice, I personally think it will become fairly homogenous after a few rounds at max with certain car characteristics making certain car-dependent patterns last for a whole year.

    19. The tyre regulation change is good but it makes things more complicated for the average viewer.

      Another thing: Will the race in Baku be considered a European event in terms of lead times? That would be interesting if they gave it non-European lead times (Pirelli is in charge of this) for an event badged as the European Grand Prix by Bernie and his friends.

      1. If they can get there by truck it’s Eu, apparently .

      2. As @hohum mentions, Baku will certainly be a considered a fly away (i.e. non Eur.) race because of travel and freight lead times.

      3. Should be Asia based on geography (only the Northern part of Azerbaijan is in Europe), but then, aren’t the tyres manufactured in Turkey? Baku would then be one of the races for which tyres have to travel the least.

        1. Yes, these tires are manufactured in Pirelli’s Izmit, Turkey factory.

          But the tires are then trucked to their logistics center in Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK (~3 days travel). Didcot is the location where the barcodes are read by the FIA. The FIA then provides to Pirelli which tire is assigned to which driver after the FIA random drawing.

          Pirelli then sorts the tires by driver, and loads tires in containers for transportation to the trackside location.

    20. ColdFly F1 (@)
      8th December 2015, 21:41

      And to make it worse: I’m colour blind!

      1. Definitely a disadvantage here…

    21. I feel more and more that a science degree is needed to watch and understand F1, honestly what was the need for theses complicated rules, aren’t F1 rules difficult to understand enough like this.

    22. Like many other readers, I am struggling to comprehend all this. Could someone please clarify but if I am understanding this correctly it seems that the ‘qualy’ tire is back. (A particular spec of tire to be used only in Q3 then handed back before the race). The pretty purple striped one maybe?

      1. The teams get one extra set of the softest compound available for use in Qualifying. If we have the hard, medium and soft, then it’ll be the soft. If we have the soft, super soft and ultra soft, then it is the ultra soft.

        The teams can still pick the softest avaliable compound in their ten chosen sets so it isn’t just a bespoke qualifying tyre.

        See ‘Dan Vary’s comment on page 1 for a excellent explanation.

      2. It is back, and it is the compulsory purple ultrasoft, with a twist – if you don’t get to Q3, you get the qualifying tyre for the race instead of for qualifying. (Otherwise nearly everyone would use the tyre in Q1 to guarantee they didn’t get knocked out at that juncture). People who do Q3 hand it back after Q3.

      3. (Edited to add: after re-reading the regs, AmbroseRPM’s point about it not being the ultrasoft at races where Pirelli chooses harder tyres is correct. Presumably this is to insure against particularly high-wear tracks).

    23. So….. The teams have to make a completely uneducated guess for the first three races, a guess that could either give them an advantage or disadvantage depending on the performance and degradation of the tyres.

      ….. This….. This is not going to go well. And it seems rather arbitrary.

      Imagine the complaints from teams when they realize they made the wrong calls.

    24. I am confused here. Is the Mandatory Q3 tyre chosen by Pirelli? If so it seems to be the same for everyone. Because going by the wording it seems the Pirelli is gonna make the softest tyre mandatory anyway and the only available tyres to pick as your liking will all be in the harder range. Boring.

      “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).”

      1. You can have extra sets of the softest compound if you want, and you can have any combination of the other two compounds on offer beyond the two sets of those that Pirelli will specify.

    25. My big, objection if you will, is that if the race is suspended and you haven’t used the other spec Tyre you get a 30 second penalty! If the race is suspended the drivers can’t be held responsible! (Unless of course they caused such suspension…)

      1. If the race is suspended and cannot be restarted, then under Article 24.4 h) all drivers are exempt from any potential penalty – even if the suspension happened 2 corners before the race ended and the driver theoretically could not have met the tyre requirement due to relative location of their pit garage and the finish line.

    26. Those idiots write rules which only they understood….maybe.

    27. I’m getting sick and tyred of these convoluted rules! ;)

    28. 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.

      This snuck in under the radar didn’t it @keithcollantine? So if you get a situation where, in a dry race, the race is stopped and not restarted, all the cars that haven’t run both sets of tyre will have 30 seconds added to their race time. It is a pretty remote possibility though.

      1. The italics contradict the rule as given in standard writing (which has been the rule since 2011 and got a minor amount of discussion at the time). A driver and team would have to be trying pretty hard to break that particular rule…

    29. If you wanted to make the racing better, I’d say the opposite approach would work better. Each race, Pirelli turn up with two tyre compounds – one labelled Hard and one labelled Soft. Pirelli chooses what the hard and soft compounds will be for each race, from the various compound options available. But crucially, teams shouldn’t know which compounds they’re using (other than the fact that one is harder and the other is softer). Teams then need to run the tyres during Friday and Saturday to work out how the compounds behave, and to get the setup right.

      The reason I say this is that the best races seem to come about when the data for the teams has been restricted in some way, or the tyres have suddenly behaved in a way other than was expected. Taking away the data from the teams and making them work out how each tyre behaves increases the technical challenge and allows for the possibility that some teams may get it wrong.

      Well, that’s my opinion anyway.

      1. I like that plan! (There’d be issues about data security, but that would be easier to resolve than the self-evident problem of translating these rules into something the average F1 viewer will feel confident about having any grasp of whatsoever).

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