Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2015

Pirelli to offer super-soft tyres at Spa

2016 Belgian Grand Prix

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Pirelli has again chosen not to bring its hardest tyre compound to the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps despite the high-speed tyre blow-outs encountered last year.

Formula One’s official tyre supplier faced severe criticism after the failures on Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari during the race and Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes during practice.

It will provide the medium, soft and super-soft compounds for the Belgian round. Drivers must use either the medium or soft during the race and those who reach Q3 will have to use the super-soft tyre in that session.

Pirelli has also announced its tyre options for the Japanese Grand Prix. It will bring its hardest available for tyres for the race at Suzuka, another of F1’s fastest circuits. Drivers must use at least one set of hard tyres during the race and the softs in Q3.

2016 tyre nominations

Circuit2016 Q32016 Option2016 Prime2015 Option2015 Prime
MelbourneSuper-softSoftMediumSoftMedium
BahrainSuper-softSoftMediumSoftMedium
ShanghaiSuper-softSoftMediumSoftMedium
SochiSuper-softSoftMediumSuper-softSoft
CatalunyaSoftMediumHardMediumHard
Monte-CarloUltra-softSuper-softSoftSuper-softSoft
MontrealUltra-softSuper-softSoftSuper-softSoft
BakuSuper-softSoftMediumNo raceNo race
Red Bull RingUltra-softSuper-softSoftSuper-softSoft
SilverstoneSoftMediumHardMediumHard
HungaroringSuper-softSoftMediumSoftMedium
HockenheimringSuper-softSoftMediumNo raceNo race
Spa-FrancorchampsSuper-softSoftMediumSoftMedium
MonzaTBATBATBAMediumHard
SingaporeUltra-softSuper-softSoftSuper-softSoft
SepangSoftMediumHardSoftMedium
SuzukaSoftMediumHardSoftMedium

2016 Belgian Grand Prix

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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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14 comments on “Pirelli to offer super-soft tyres at Spa”

  1. Has this obligation to use the hardest compound been used since the first race? I truly can’t remenber…

    1. Canada ?

      1. Canada has been the only race where it has been mandatory so far. Using hardest will be mandatory for Sepang and Suzuka later on, don’t remember if it was somewhere else too.

        To comment about that, I don’t like it since it reduces tactical options. Canada was one-stop race so someone could have tried to go through on ultrasofts and supersofts, but it wasn’t possible within the rules.

      2. Yeah, thats the first I can remember with it, wich is a poor decision in my opinion. The strong point of the new tyres rule was that it opened the strategy; now we have almost the same thing as we did last year…

  2. Supersoft/soft/medium to Spa, but what about Monza, another high-speed circuit, will they dare to bring the supersoft there as well or will they go with soft/medium/hard combination instead? I’m already looking forward to the Monza tyre choice confirmation.

    1. actually, they could bring supersoft to monza
      yes it is another high speed circuit, but it’s not very demanding on the tyres, especially on the lateral loads, very different with suzuka.

      even, the lateral loads on the tyres at monza is much lower than spa

    2. No. Last year Pirelli opposed plans to give drivers full freedom to select their tires, exactly because then they might choose the supersofts (at that time the softest compound) at Monza, which was deemed unsafe. Therefore, Pirelli selects the three available compounds the drivers can choose to eliminate this risk. Monza will be soft-medium-hard for sure.

      1. @f1infigures but surely giving them the option at Spa which is notorious for putting immense load through tyres, not just last years Spa but also this years WEC race at Spa had a fair few tyre failures is far more risky than at Monza

        1. @bezza695 I also don’t really get why Pirelli gave the Monza example, but of course they know more about the tires and track characteristics than I do. Spa has more high-speed corners, but Monza may have higher peak downforce, which may limit the lifespan of the softest tire compounds. I do think that Pirelli should bring the “cliff” back to prevent teams from going too long on one set of tires (like Vettel last year), but maybe the softer tire allocation will deter drivers from choosing such a strategy.

    3. Monza is less demanding on the tyres than Spa. You could easily do a one-stop on softs and mediums at Monza, but not at Spa (ask Vettel how that went for him last year).

  3. “Pirelli has again chosen not to bring its hardest tyre compound … … despite the high-speed tyre blow-outs encountered last year.”

    What’s the connection between the hardness/stickiness of the tread and the durability/fragility of the sidewall and/or carcass of the tyre. To my mind these are separate characteristics of the tyre which may be connected or not. Why does Keith imply that a harder tread compound tyre is more puncture resistant, as well as being slower to wear down? Was the story not interesting enough without suggesting that Pirelli are doing something crazy stupid?

    1. Hehe, my thoughts exactly. Harder compounds are simply that… Harder more durable rubber.

      Construction then provides tires resistance to puncture.

      Thread protects inner construction, but last year tires were not worn to the fundation.

      Most likeley, they will just enforce high pressure and low camber…

  4. Didn’t Monza have the soft and medium tyres last year?

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