Drivers’ tyre choices for Russia announced

2016 Russian Grand Prix

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Pirelli has confirmed which tyres each driver has chosen for the next race on the calendar in Russia.

Large quantities of super-soft tyres have been chosen by most teams for the Sochi Autodrom where tyre wear has been very low in previous races.

Red Bull and Haas have made the most aggressive selection with ten sets of super-softs for each of their drivers.

Ferrari have been more conservative than most in their selection, picking six sets of super-softs and softs for Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Mercedes rivals Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will each have eight sets of the super-softs.

Under the rules each driver must have one set of medium and one set of soft tyres available for the race.

Lewis HamiltonMercedes
Nico RosbergMercedes
Sebastian VettelFerrari
Kimi RaikkonenFerrari
Valtteri BottasWilliams
Felipe MassaWilliams
Daniel RicciardoRed Bull
Daniil KvyatRed Bull
Nico HulkenbergForce India
Sergio PerezForce India
Kevin MagnussenRenault
Jolyon PalmerRenault
Max VerstappenToro Rosso
Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso
Fernando AlonsoMcLaren
Jenson ButtonMcLaren
Marcus EricssonSauber
Felipe NasrSauber
Pascal WehrleinManor
Rio HaryantoManor
Romain GrosjeanHaas
Esteban GutierrezHaas

2016 Russian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    34 comments on “Drivers’ tyre choices for Russia announced”

    1. Can’t imagine why anyone would want to use the medium.

      Last year, the compounds were supersoft and soft. Alonso made the option last 40 laps!

      1. I just don’t get the point in the ultra soft tyre if they aren’t using it. This track is surely perfect for it?

        1. Agreed, a strange decision from Pirelli. They said that they wouldn’t bring the ultrasoft to Baku because of a lack of data (eg. Tarmac roughness) so I can understand that. But with two previous GPs at the Sochi track, it’s hard to understand their reluctance to use the softest compound. If the teams were forced to qualify on the ultrasoft we’d likely see two stoppers instead of the single stop strategy which all the top runners will employ.

          1. Marketing. Monaco is the crown jewel race so the debut of ultra soft is there. If Russia was after Monaco I bet the ultra soft super soft and soft would of been the choices. Very daft as who cares if Monaco is 1st to get ultra soft no one will remember this in a year or so without looking it up.

    2. Never realised Sochi was such an easy-going track for tyres. 10 or 8 sets of supersoft is absolutely insane. Surely if it is that easy on the tyres, maybe an ultrasoft could have been used?

      1. @hahostolze It should have been. But Pirelli clearly wanted to debut them in Monaco for marketing reasons. There can be no other explanation

    3. They probably should have had the new ultra soft as the new third option, shame they ‘have’ to debut it at monaco and sacrifice spicing up this race weekend for the the small amount of publicity they will get in a few weeks time…

    4. Ultra soft would be better than medium for this race.

      But well, if you have an early puncture or damaged front wing you can come in, fit the medium on, and go to the end of the race.

      1. @ducpham2708 Yep, that’s the only set of circumstances in which anyone would contemplate to use their single set of mediums. Failing that, it’s clearly gonna be the set returned to Pirelli unused after the race

    5. Considering that most teams did the race with 1 stop, I don’t think tire strategy matters much here. Just wondering why would anyone want mediums at all.

      Could have gotten an extra SS or S.

      1. RaceProUK (@)
        19th April 2016, 12:59

        Just wondering why would anyone want mediums at all.

        I don’t:

        Under the rules each driver must have one set of medium and one set of soft tyres available for the race.

        1. Thank you. That’s a messed up rule effectively ruling one compound to go waste. If they aren’t going to use meds in the race or qualifying, what use is it having them in the paddock?


          1. They have to use at least one set of medium in the race.

            1. No they don’t. Look back at Bahrain, where Grosjean didn’t use mediums

            2. No, they must use either soft or mediums in the race. I dont know if the rule is also that they MUST have available a set of mediums and a set of softs for the race. This tyre rules are still confusing.

            3. @mijail They have to use two compounds. Considering that they usually start on Supersoft, they can do a stint on softs to ensure they fall good on the rule.

              Usually Meds will come into play one way or the other but this race will be an exception when you look at last year’s data.

              Still the allocation is plenty. Meds will probably be used for the installation lap maybe?

            4. @evered7 They have to use either one of the 2 allocated sets for the race(1 soft+1 medium). If they use the soft they don’t have to use the medium provided the also used a superdoft(duh!)

            5. @montreal95 Yeah, you are right and that is what I meant as well. I was just pondering on where they would use the meds for the weekend since they have it with them already.

            6. @evered7 I don’t see how. They have to keep that one set for the race. They cannot use it beforehand. The only team who can use team prior to the race is Manor as they have two. So not before the race and not during the race. It just going to be returned

    6. One of the reason I can think of why they don’t want to bring the ultra-soft is that it might not be able to handle to long left-hander of turn 3

      1. That could be the reason for the reluctance to bring the softest of the 5 compounds.

        1. 40 laps was possible on the super soft last year so doubt it, ultra soft just may have allowed some to try a 2 stopper. Tyre allocations mean nothing here, all will start on super soft run as long as they can then move to soft then that’s it. You only need 1xss and 1xs for the whole race.

          1. @markp You cant confirm that will happen, depending on the performance gap between compounds the drivers in 10th or 11th may start in softs and go for a long stint and then a short stint in SS

            1. Yes you are right either way it will be a 1 stop race for everyone baring issues so will be the 1st race this year the 3 tyres rule does not have a chance to spice up. I am predicting this will be the least liked race so far, however it may be saved to a degree if both Ferrari and Mercs have no issues and a straight fight as strategy will be nearly redundant.

          2. What i meant is that the integrity of the ultra soft is not good enough. in monza, for example, they usually brought harder compounds even if the race is usually just a one-stopper because the softer tyres would not be able to handle the loads of monza

            1. Might not be good enough*

            2. Monza is known to hurt tyres though, Russia seems to suffer the lowest degree of all races including Monaco.

    7. i like it; RedBull and Hass went for an aggressive startegy!!!

      1. It’s the same strategy in the race 1 soft 1 supersoft 1 stop race. It just means they will run more softer compound tyres in practice.

    8. Autosport seem to think that Ferrari will be in trouble in Sochi with their conservative tire choice. I think Autosport is wrong. Those on supersofts mainly might have to do an extra pitstop compared to Ferrari. There’s also a high risk of safety car. So it’s not as straight forward as bolt on the superdoft and go for it. And even those with many sets of supersofts will have to use a soft at some stage

      1. Same in the race only difference is Ferrari will run 2 sets of softs through practice when Mercedes-Benz run 2 sets of supersoft. They will run both types in practice but Ferrari more soft runs Mercedes-Benz more supersoft runs. Nothing is certain but I am confident this is the case and with no ultra soft here the tyre choices are irrelevant they all have more soft and supersoft than they really need.

        1. @markp I think you’re right but in that case Ferrari are indeed in some disadvantage since they’ll do more of the practice on the least favorable tire, no?

          1. @montreal95
            I don’t think the “Soft” will be the least favourite race tyre at Sochi. The soft worked pretty well last year, especially for the Ferraris but also for the guys who pitted under the SC. That’s why it’s no surprise to me that Ferrari have chosen a lot of sets of the harder tyre compound. The “Super-soft” might be faster over a single lap (about 0.8-1 sec), but the “Soft” is much more consistent and therefore better under race conditions.

            1. To add to that they all have more than enough of both types to test to their hearts content in the practice sessions. Medium was just a token gesture to satisfy the rules, shame someone put a cheap marketing ploy over the quality of the race when not allowing the ultra soft to debut at this race. Monaco has so many other distractions I really doubt anyone will notice or care over the race weekend in Monaco they are using ultra soft for the 1st time, it will not be the talk of the town over that weekend.

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