Little difference in tyre choices for Malaysia

2016 Malaysian Grand Prix

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The front-running teams have made similar tyre selections for the upcoming race in Malaysia.

Mercedes and Ferrari have both selected seven sets of the soft tyre for next week’s race at the Sepang Circuit, with Red Bull choosing one fewer set.

Most of the drivers from the top three teams have also opted for four sets of medium tyres, with only Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen selecting three.

All drivers must have two sets of the hard tyres available for the race and must use at least one set of them during the grand prix. Jolyon Palmer is the only driver to have selected for sets of the hards.

2016 Malaysian Grand Prix tyre selections

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

2016 Malaysian 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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    7 comments on “Little difference in tyre choices for Malaysia”

    1. I’m disappointed that only the hard tire is the prime tire, which makes the medium tire a bit redundant and might kill strategic variation. Based on the tire allocations it seems the medium tire is the best race tire, so then everyone in the top 10 is forced to use both weaker compounds in the race. In that case, everyone outside the top 10 and the Mercedes drivers will start the race on mediums.

      1. @f1infigures
        While I also dislike the fact that the hard tyre will be mandatory, I do not reach the same conclusions:

        1. There will be some room for strategic variation, as last year’s Malaysian GP showed:
        – 8/10 drivers in the top 10 made three stops, thus allowing for the possibility to run all available compounds
        – 2 drivers managed to score points with a 2-stopper: race winner Sebastian Vettel as well as Carlos Sainz, who had started from P15
        – 5/10 drivers in the top 10 used the hard tyres for more than one stint, indicating that there is no obvious preference for any of these compounds (16 stints were run on the medium [8 of which were cut short due to pit stops in the first 5 laps, when the Safety Cara appeared], 13 on the hard)
        2. I’m not sure the Mercs will try to start the race on mediums:
        – the difference between the compounds tends to be massive over one lap in Sepang, so trying to get into Q2 on medium tyres might be too risky
        – harder is not always better in the first stint, as evidenced by the McLaren drivers’ early change of tyres and the fact that they were the only ones who started on the hard compound (which means that 7 other cars started on the medium even though they had a choice). It remains to be seen whether the preference for medium tyres at the start indicates that a) medium tyres are generally favoured in the first stint, or b) the tendency is to go as soft as possible in the first stint.

        I wouldn’t write that race off yet. The new tyre rules have worked almost flawlessly so far, and they might do so again in Malaysia.

        1. The new tire rules are definitely a big step forwards, but if only one compound is mandatory it takes away a lot of its benefits, as we could see in Canada. Last year the safety car really spiced up the race, because it came exactly at the right moment, so some drivers chose not to pit under yellow.

          This year’s race the teams might run out of the harder tires, as they will start with 3 sets of softs (from qualifying), 2 sets of hards and only 1 set of mediums. If tire wear is high, they will have to use the soft tires at some point anyway, which can be interesting.

    2. Why has there been this change in the rules? Normally you must have one set each of both hardest and the second hardest option available for the race and must use one of those. So why is there suddenly for Malaysia, without prior announcement a change in the rules and you must definitely use the hard compound? Can you answer please @keithcollantine ?

      1. @montreal95 There hasn’t been a rule change and this isn’t the first time it’s been done. In Canada drivers had to have two sets of softs for the race and use one of them:

        But I certainly agree this is all excessively complicated.

        1. @keithcollantine Thank you very much Keith! I guess it’s useless to complain. It’s over-complicated all over the F1 rules spectrum now, so it’s not surprising that the tire compound choices are over-complicated as well

          But it would be much better if there were no such cases. And cases with yellow flag infringements(it should be simple-you’re going thru a yellow sector, you lose the lap. That’s it no grey areas, unlike the Perez situation in Singapore or Rosberg’s in Hungary, etc. ). And many more examples

    3. Nobody wonder if a super soft would work for a single lap probably it’s because teams can’t select 4 compounds.

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