George Russell, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Drivers’ tyre choices for first race announced

2019 Australian Grand Prix

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Pirelli has confirmed the Formula 1 drivers’ tyre choices for the Australian Grand Prix.

Renault pair Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg have made the most aggressive selection for the first race of the year, selecting 10 sets of the softest tyres available. The soft tyre will be the C4 compound for the first race of the year, the second-softest of the five available.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have each chosen nine sets of the softs for each of their drivers. Most of them will also have three sets of mediums – C3s – but Charles Leclerc will have just two and an extra set of the hard C2 tyres.

Racing Point and Williams have chosen the fewest sets of sots, just eight for each of their drivers.

2019 Australian Grand Prix tyre choices

DriverTeamHard (C2)Medium (C3)Soft (C4)
Lewis HamiltonMercedes139
Valtteri BottasMercedes139
Sebastian VettelFerrari139
Charles LeclercFerrari229
Max VerstappenRed Bull139
Pierre GaslyRed Bull139
Daniel RiccairdoRenault1210
Nico HulkenbergRenault2110
Kevin MagnussenHaas139
Romain GrosjeanHaas139
Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren229
Lando NorrisMcLaren229
Sergio PerezRacing Point238
Lance StrollRacing Point238
Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo139
Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo229
Daniil KvyatToro Rosso139
Alexander AlbonToro Rosso139
George RussellWilliams148
Robert KubicaWilliams238

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2019 Australian Grand Prix

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    Author information

    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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    30 comments on “Drivers’ tyre choices for first race announced”

    1. C2 = Medium

      C3 = Soft

      C4 = Ultra-soft

      1. Why did Pirelli have to change names again?

        1. Because it got tedious to explain to new fans whether the ultra, super or hyper soft was the softer tire. The new system works and once you get used to it it’s much simpler than the old one.

          1. For people dipping in and out throughout the season, yes, it’s much simpler. For those who follow the sport regularly it feels strange now, but we’ll get used to it and life will move on.
            On the whole it’s probably a good move, at least while tyre rules remain as they are.

      2. The C2 isn’t actually the Medium from last year. It’s a new component. Only the C3 and the C4 are brought over with slight modifications but the rest of the range is new.

      3. @jerejj

        C2 = Medium

        C3 = Soft

        C4 = Ultra-soft

        Thx mate. It’s a shame they had to get rid of a nomenclature that actually meant something, only to replace it by a new one that is both less transparent and more confusing.

        1. I disagree.
          Even though I ‘follow the sport regularly’ I prefer this C references for ‘geeks’ and H/M/S during the race.

          It might be my age but I find it easier to remember that C5 is softer than C4 than recalling the order between hyper/super/ultra (some from Greek and other from Latin – only miss ‘uber’ and ‘extra’ for Royal Flush).

          1. @coldfly
            The thing is, that system has been around for no less than 8 seasons. And it was it was backed up by a super (or even ultra-) intuitive colour coding that told you pretty much everything there was to know at a glance.
            Other than the tyre markings no longer conveying any non-contextual meaning, my main issue with the new convention is that it turns my intuition upside down. I think that most, of not virtually all, of those who thought about tyre ranges at all visualised the tyre range by starting with the softest tyre and then going on to the harder tyres. Now it’s the opposite: C1 begins where the range used to end …

            It’s like they replaced Tennis’ (admittedly dadaistic) scoring system overnight. Instead of going 15-30-40-Advantage, each player starts at 4, and the first player to reach 0 wins the game (if the score is 1-1, it progresses to 1-2 instead of 0-1). Makes infinitely more sense than what they have now and have had ever since before the water closet was invented. But it’d still infuriate millions of people.
            The same applies here, imo. They’re (sort of) dumbing down something that did appeal to a small portion of their audience to replace it with something that is still far too complex for most of those who were complaining anyway.

    2. I wonder if Danny Ric now has full freedom to choose his sets because for the first time his sets are not the same as his team mates. Unless Renault still chose and they have some practice programs for each driver to run through.

      1. Not a single driver on the grid has any freedom to choose what tires they want for a given race. Tyre choice is made entirely by the team

        1. @xenn1 That’s a pretty bold statement, got a source for that?

          1. FIA F1 2019 sporting regulations section 24.2b

            Competitors must then inform the FIA, no less than 8 weeks before the start of each event held in Europe and fourteen weeks before the start of each event held outside Europe, which specifications of dry-weather tyres they wish to use for each of their drivers

          2. The teams were openly admiting that when they got the freedom of choice in tyres back in 2016. They’re very old articles and i don’t really have time to get digging today but it makes sense: it’s a matter of strategy and the decision is ultimately made by the team’s race strategist in tandem with the individual driver engineers. Driver input is obviously taken into consideration but they don’t really make the decision. I mean, i wouldn’t be surprised if a driver picked 10 of the absolute softest set out of 10 possible because ‘they’re more fun to drive with’ and obviously teams won’t risk that.

            1. The teams will have a run plan or a good idea of what it should be long before they get to the GP Venue and will have selected the appropriate tyres for that plan.

      2. @ming-mong Daniel and Max had regularly different sets last year. Look it up.

        1. yeah your right.. Belgium comes to mind. I wouldn’t say regularly though..

        2. @mcmikenl
          Its not about different sets to start the weekend with. Teams would like to have both cars run different tyres to test out improvements/upgrades that they bring.
          By the time they get to the race on sunday, most driver pairs have extremely similar sets available.

      3. @ming-mong
        Their allocation is identical, with the sole difference being that RIC gets one more set of the C3 (=2018 Soft), while HUL gets one more set of the C2 (=2018 Medium). They’ll get rid of that difference on Friday, by doing a long run on their respective superfluous sets to determine which tyre they should use on Sunday. Teams have been doing this ever since the current tyre regulations came into effect.

    3. This new tyre classification doesn’t work, every time one of the new codes is reported it needs explanation elsewhere. The 2019 system was transparent. This isn’t. If a hard tyre is called medium at one race and hard at another its confusing to most of the fans.

      1. I disagree. The hard-medium-soft approach makes understanding each race easier. All this ultra/hyper/super-soft nonsense was really confusing.

        For those of us that want to understand the relationship between the compounds, I believe the number system is a good way of differentiation them without confusing them with their purpose on race day.

        1. If that’s the case, why the C# designations?

          Publicly announce that tyres at the event will be classified as Hard, Medium and Soft and add an addendum to the notice stating that for this event Hard is CX, Medium is CY and Soft is CZ, so the buffs with their spreadsheets can do their analysis.

          1. The whole point is to simplify matters to the casual fan, it doesn’t really make a difference (even to the more fanatical amongst us) which specific compound in the range they are using. We will get a feel throughout the P and Q’s which cars works well on which compound and which don’t.

            The problem is going to be, will the broadcasters keep mentioning it? Which will ruin the whole thing (I can hear that imbecile Croft even now saying “on the Red marked soft tyre, which is the C4 compound in the range or what used to be known as the ultra soft”).

          2. petebaldwin (@)
            6th March 2019, 0:21

            I’m pretty sure you’ve suggested they do exactly what they are doing…. The tyres are called Hard, Medium and Soft but for the people who want to know, they can see which of the 5 tyres they actually are by looking at the C number.

      2. I may agree to some degree but you completely lost me at “most of the fans”. Most of the fans – I mean people who watches a race – aren’t even aware that each car must use two different compounds per race.

        1. @m-bagattini

          Most of the fans – I mean people who watches a race – aren’t even aware that each car must use two different compounds per race.

          You’re not wrong. One of F1’s greatest paradoxes is the fact that it’s an extremely academic sport with an extremely unacademic audience.

          1. @nase:

            I doubt if fans of F1 are that naive.
            They may not know about the rules governing (say) front wings; for e.g. outwash.
            But with pitstops being mandatory, fans would certainly know about the usage of two different sets. These are basic questions that every fan would ask himself/herself if that person is really a fan. And such fans are far few in number. Most of them just want to have to good time at the track. Most of those watching on tv are ‘the fans’ because they have an option to watch something better.

            i am entering into the guessing zone here–if 10 people are watching the El Clasico, 9 would know what offside means. May be only 5-6 would know about the 3 subs rule.
            Simplifying such a complex sort if the best way forward. Aye for H-M-S.

            1. @webtel

              I doubt if fans of F1 are that naive.

              Many years ago, I would’ve been naïve enough to think the same. But by now, I am absolutely certain that the vast manjority of F1’s audience are shockingly clueless.

    4. Danny ric the single most aggressive. Full out attack.

    5. pastaman (@)
      5th March 2019, 12:52

      I dislike the new tire naming scheme because it means RaceFans can’t show the old tire selection table with pretty colors that was much easier to read!

    6. A common fault with many numbering conventions is that in the initial set-up, they box themselves into a corner.
      Supposing that C5 was the hard and C1 the softest. Odds are they will never add another even harder compound, but they may well add a “Super-Megga-Ultra” softer compound.
      Hence numbering them from Hard, 1, to Softest, 5, leaves them room to go to an even softer, 6 or 7. Not likely, but at least there is the room to re-jig things and keep the sequence they have now.
      I suppose they could have come up with a 0 or a 00 for added softer compounds. That would have started this discussion all over again.
      Given a Hard, a Med and a Soft for each track, I generally don’t care whether it is C1, 2, 3 or a C3, 4, 5.

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