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Tyre compounds for first two races of 2017 announced

2017 F1 season

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Pirelli has confirmed which compounds will be used for the opening two races of 2017 following the drastic off-season change in tyre rules.

Formula One’s official tyre supplier will bring the ultra-soft, super-soft and soft compounds for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. This is a departure from last year when Pirelli brought the medium compound instead of the ultra-soft.

Each driver must have one set of super-soft and one set of soft tyres available for the race, and at least one of them must be used during it.

For the Chinese Grand Prix Pirelli will again bring the super-soft, soft and medium tyre compounds. One set of soft and one set of medium tyres must be kept available for the race, at least one of which must be used.

The 2017 season will see F1 tyre width increase by 25%. The front tyre widths will rise from 245mm to 305mm and rears will grow from 325mm to 405mm.

Pirelli’s initial tyre selection is drawn from what the manufacturer is referring to as its ‘base’ compounds. It has also homologate a selection of ‘back-up’ compounds for possible introduction later in the season “to respond to any particular requirements once the real performance levels of the 2017 cars have been identified”.

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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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  • 26 comments on “Tyre compounds for first two races of 2017 announced”

    1. If the tyres are as good as we expect them to be, the third compound would be redundant. I hope

      1. They will ditch the thermal degration right? Does that mean they’ll be comparable to the Bridgestones pre 2011? But stickier.

        1. Yes for the first question

          We are in unknown territory at the moment to answer the 2nd

          If the tyres are good, don’t see the point of having 3 compounds, as the teams will go for the two fastest, and from the indications that we have there isn’t really any advantage of going for an harder compound

          But since we have this selection, I don’t know if I should expect high degradation, or if the 3 compound rule just became irrelevant.

    2. Extra soft compounts for Australia,really interesting.In 2013 & 2016,when ssoft was used in Melbourne,degredation was really high.With the 2017 Pirellis expected to be less degretating tyres,it seems like a solid decition by Pirelli

    3. I was expecting Pirelli to go conservative with their choices for the first two races given they are introducing a completely new concept. Credit to them.

    4. But surely none of this really matters anymore, as the tyres aren’t designed to degrade. So it’s more about which one is faster? Thus everyone will want as soft a selection as possible?

      1. from now one, if the new tyres behave as expected we could ditch the fancy colours all together, and have a soft and a hard component. That would be more than enough

        1. @johnmilk I’d like to see something where only the team knows which compound their driver is using (unless it is a wet tyre, of course). That would give an element of uncertainty as to what strategies they are going for.

          1. That is a good idea @strontium

            For the fans is irrelevant having that information as well, and we could always get a surprisr every now and then

      2. If tyres were designed to not degrade they wouldn’t grip either.

        The real question is even if the compounds will degrade more slowly won’t the advantage of the fresh rubber on a bigger tyre just make a bigger difference and counteract the compound changes anyway?

        Won’t the same performance differentials and number of pit stops required just be about the same?

        Anyone got an idea?

        1. The real question is whether most of the degradation will come from wear (as in the Bridgestone days), or from thermal degradation. Pirelli have promised the former for 2017, but to date have only delivered the latter (so fingers cross).

      3. I believe they are designed to degrade, just not thermally.

    5. Is this the level of excitement we will see in 2017? How about delivering some good racing? News like this can put anyone to zzzzzzzleep

      1. Well now I’ve seen everything…the 2017 cars haven’t even seen the light of day and people are already implying the sport is dull. :/

        1. Well said @geemac! We will get faster cars, probabably better looking cars, we can hope the drivers feel less underutilized by because they now have to train their muscles again and will likely complain about it less and we have had Pirelli at least get some testing done and ditching the constraint of being obliged to make their tyres wear fast.
          That they are bringing a step softer would certainly mean that Pirelli has the confidence that these tyres (at least one of the components) will last the distance.

          Sure, it will not be all great, it might be that we will get less overtaking, and it is unlikely that we will get 4-5 cars realistically fighting for wins and championships (one can hope!), but so far I haven’t seen anything to fall asleep for.

        2. Exactly. There were few positive things about F1 in the last three years. Now when they really change the rules and we have a good chance to see different pecking order, more demanding cars and an end to the tyre savings, there are complains that it will get worse. So instead we should keep with restricted rules, Mercedes winning everything and tyres designed to degrade that aren’t working anymore? No way. Maybe, hopefully not, the new rules won’t be good but at least there are real efforts to change things. It is hard to see it getting much worse.

    6. I wonder if the bigger tyres will lead to slower pit stop times in 2017. Given they are bigger, also that presumably means heavier, so I’m guessing that those in the pits next year will have to superfit, as fit as the drivers perhaps, if they want to maintain almost sub-2-second pit stop times.

      1. @stephenh HORSE APPLES!

        The new tires aren’t THAT MUCH bigger… Offroad racing trucks have gone from 39″ to 42″, THAT is a significant change…. not the tiny bit wider that the already light f1 tires are.

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        23rd December 2016, 6:46

        Pirelli is expecting an average 1kg per tyre extra.
        You should add a bit for the wider rims as well.

    7. Each driver must have one set of super-soft and one set of soft tyres available for the race, and at least one of them must be used during it.
      This is a logical inevitability isn’t it? What exactly is this rule for?

      1. It’s not i inevitable is it, without the rule, you could use all your soft(or supper softs) in qualifying, and then do the race without a stop on a set of mediums (if they last the entire race)

        It’s inevitable that the soft/super soft isn’t the best race tyre, and therefore the teams would rather be on the harder tyre, with as few a pit stops as possible, for the entire race

        1. They have to use two compounds in the race, so either they start on the U/S and change to Soft, or S/S, or they start on S/Soft which also satisfies the rule, apart from having Soft ‘available’. Same principle for China.

    8. Hopefully, they’ll bring the ultrasoft/supersoft/soft combination to Russia, Azerbaijan, and Mexico as well. And furthermore, I also hope they’d ditch the stupid rule (applied only in Canada, Malaysia, and Japan), that only the hardest compound of the race weekend has the ‘must be used in the race’ status. I don’t really understand the logic behind this exception. They should just apply the same (both the middle and the hardest compound having the ‘race mandatory’ status) rule everywhere, I mean what’s with Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Sepang International Circuit, and Suzuka only having that exception, unlike the rest.

    9. It’s interesting that there is a set of ‘back-up compounds’ available in case the teams were sandbagging with their performance predictions.

      In mid-November Pat Symonds was predicting an extra 35kph on a 200kph corner – an increase in lateral load of almost 40%) which is way more than Pirelli had specified for the mule cars. Clearly they want to be ready to respond to another race like Silverstone 2013, in case Pat was right.

    Comments are closed.