Softer tyres chosen for F1’s Istanbul return, hardest rubber for Losail

2021 Qatar Grand Prix

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The final details of Pirelli’s tyre allocations for the 2021 F1 season have been confirmed following the addition of the Qatar Grand Prix to the calendar yesterday.

F1’s official tyre supplier will bring the hardest rubber in its range for Formula 1’s first race at the Losail International Circuit. The C1, C2 and C3 compounds will be used at next month’s race on the 5.4-kilometre permanent track outside Doha.

The circuit features a series of medium-speed bends in quick succession, plus a long straight of over a kilometre leading into the first corner.

Softer tyres will be used for F1’s return to the Istanbul Park in Turkey next week. Pirelli brought its hardest tyres to the race last year, but will go one step softer on its allocation this time, bringing the C2, C3 and C4 compounds.

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The Turkish track was resurfaced shortly before the 2020 race and yielded very poor grip levels which were exacerbated by the persistent rain throughout the weekend. Pirelli made its tyre selection before it emerged the Istanbul circuit had undergone a water jet cleaning procedure in order to improve grip levels.

There will be no change to Pirelli’s previously-announced tyre selection for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix despite the significant alterations which are being made to the track. Several of the slower corners at Yas Marina have been eased or removed, and lap times are expected to be slashed as a result.

Nonetheless Pirelli’s selection of the softest tyres in its range – C3, C4 and C5 – remains unchanged. The manufacturer told RaceFans it decided against supplying harder rubber as it was concerned doing so could make it difficult for drivers to generate heat in their front tyres.

2021 F1 tyre selections

RaceTrackHardMediumSoft
1Bahrain International CircuitC2C3C4
2ImolaC2C3C4
3Autodromo do AlgarveC1C2C3
4Circuit de CatalunyaC1C2C3
5MonacoC3C4C5
6Baku City CircuitC3C4C5
7Paul RicardC2C3C4
8Red Bull Ring (Austrian Grand Prix)C2C3C4
9Red Bull Ring (Styrian Grand Prix)C3C4C5
10SilverstoneC1C2C3
11HungaroringC2C3C4
12Spa-FrancorchampsC2C3C4
13ZandvoortC1C2C3
14MonzaC2C3C4
15Sochi AutodromC3C4C5
16Istanbul ParkC2C3C4
17Circuit of the AmericasC2C3C4
18Autodromo Hermanos RodriguezC2C3C4
19InterlagosC2C3C4
20Losail International CircuitC1C2C3
21Jeddah Corniche CircuitC2C3C4
22Yas MarinaC3C4C5

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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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  • 11 comments on “Softer tyres chosen for F1’s Istanbul return, hardest rubber for Losail”

    1. We’ll know which team benefits the most from these choices as soon as the other team starts complaining. My bet is on Horner.

      1. Well, we do know generating heat in the front tires is a typical Mercedes problem. So objectively pirelli want to avoid influence on the championship… Or they wanted to help Mercedes.
        Matter of perspective.

    2. Hardest tyres for Losail (Qatar) = 1 stop procession in the night. Sigh.

      1. Yep. If in doubt go hardest seems to be the pirelli way.!

        1. Since it also clearly favors the Mercedes…

    3. Weird choice for Losail. Yes, F1 has never raced on this circuit but doesn’t look particularly hard on tyres.

      1. Coventry Climax
        1st October 2021, 14:41

        Upon first looks, @erikjes ‘matter of perspective’ seems valid here too, in a way. We know (Zandvoort was quite blatant, for example) Pirelli are peeing in their pants for fear of having tyre troubles yet again, so for a circuit they do not know (yet should have) their choice for hardest compounds is exactly what was to be expected. That, in it’s turn, helps the teams that run the most downforce. So, safe choice or influencing the championship?
        On the other hand, this brings me to a question: Teams normally have to make tyre choices well in advance, whereas, apparently, Pirelli can mess around (and influence) until shortly before a race. How is this with a newly added circuit? Do teams now have the opportunity to ask for the compounds they would like after Pirelli has announced their choice?

        1. Coventry Climax
          1st October 2021, 14:44

          It’s the amount/number of each compund, that I’m referring too, obviously.

          1. Coventry Climax
            1st October 2021, 14:46

            The second ‘o’ from ‘too’ seems to have moved all by itself from the word ‘compound’ ;-)

        2. In 2021 the tyre allocations are fixed.

    4. Did they not change the compounds for the Abu Dhabi race to C2, C3 and C4 after the layout changes?

    Comments are closed.