Pirelli chooses softest tyres for Austria

2017 Austrian Grand Prix

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Pirelli has selected its softest available tyres for this year’s Austrian Grand Prix, which is the same allocation as was used in 2016.

Drivers will be able to select from the soft, super-soft and ultra-soft compounds for the ninth round of the season at the Red Bull Ring.

They are required to have one set of ultra-soft tyres available for Q3 and one of each of the other two tyre types available for the race.

Next weekend’s race in Spain will be the final time this year Pirelli chooses how many sets of each tyre are available to each driver. From the Monaco Grand Prix drivers will choose ten of their thirteen tyre sets, as was the case at all races last year.

Circuit2016 tyres2017 tyres
MelbourneMediumSoftSuper-softSoftSuper-softUltra-soft
ShanghaiMediumSoftSuper-softMediumSoftSuper-soft
BahrainMediumSoftSuper-softMediumSoftSuper-soft
SochiMediumSoftSuper-softSoftSuper-softUltra-soft
CatalunyaHardMediumSoftHardMediumSoft
Monte-CarloSoftSuper-softUltra-softSoftSuper-softUltra-soft
MontrealSoftSuper-softUltra-softSoftSuper-softUltra-soft
BakuMediumSoftSuper-softMediumSoftSuper-soft
Red Bull RingSoftSuper-softUltra-softSoftSuper-softUltra-soft

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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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  • 10 comments on “Pirelli chooses softest tyres for Austria”

    1. @keithcollantine typo (Pirelli) on title

    2. Hope the tyres won’t explode this time.

    3. As the compounds are two steps harder than last year, the tire allocation for the Spanish Grand Prix is hard, superhard and ultrahard in last year’s terminology. Expect slow lap times and a boring race.

      1. @f1infigures The race itself might be a straightforward one, but the lap times for certain won’t be slow as this is one of the circuits that exploit the advantages the current cars have over the previous ones more or less to the maximum extent. I expect the gap between this year’s and last year’s pole lap to be more or less similar to what it was in pre-season testing, and without any mishaps, yellow flags or any other unusual circumstances the slowest qualifying time alone should be faster than the fastest 2016 qualifying time (1:22.000).

        1. @jerejj Well, I think the pole time will be around 1:19 or so, as in testing, or maybe a bit faster if the higher temperatures allow the tires to get into their operating window. On the other hand, the ultra and supersoft tires were used in testing, so who knows. In Australia the use of harder tire compounds translated into disappointing lap times.
          The race might be a straightforward 1-stop strategy for most, as overtaking will be incredibly hard, so no-one wants to surrender track position for better tires. I’m not really looking forward to that. I know many people like the pure racing, but there is no racing anymore, unlike last year with clown tires.

          1. @f1infigures, the problem is not that the tyres are less clown like, the problem is that the tyres still disadvantage drivers trying to keep within striking distance of the car ahead, and that forces the drivers to circulate in clean air and hope for a pitstop or safety car situation to get them ahead of their rivals. If we had super-duper-ultrahard-everlasting tyres, the lap times might be a little slower but the drivers would be driving closer to the limit which looks faster and with no need to change tyres during a race would try all race long to hound the driver ahead into making an error (like braking late and locking up) and passing them, as happens in all other non aero-dependant racing series.

            1. @hohum The current tires are worst of both worlds I guess.

              I know many people here like to see straight race-long battles for position. Sadly, with rock-solid tires and the huge aero-dependency those battles are incredibly rare. I think last year’s tire rules were quite a big improvement over the rather dull and predictable tire strategies we saw in 2014 and especially 2015. More available tire compounds increase the likelihood of nice on-track battles, as even with DRS sufficiently large speed differences are needed for cars to overcome the dirty air problem.
              Unfortunately, this year the tires are so hard that they don’t generate the speed differences necessary for overtaking. Also, as the hardest compound won’t be used in the race, there is almost no strategic variation, which further reduces the on-track action. And the worst thing is that the tires still overheat/thermally degrade while trailing another car. Sadly it seems that Pirelli is incapable of creating tires that allow the drivers to drive on the limit for the entire race.

            2. I think anything that is called an ultrasoft that does not a) produce lapt times 4 seconds faster than any other tire and b) explode after a maximum of two and three quarters of a lap is a disgrace.

    4. At least this year the front tyres are not overheating after two laps of following. The aerodynamics is the limiting factor to passing now. Need to get rid of these complex front wings now. Might as well ban front wings all together.

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