Pirelli has revealed the tyres it will provide to the teams for rounds four, five and six of this year's F1 world championship, as the series finishes its opening 'flyaways' in Bahrain and heads 'home' for the first European rounds in Spain and Monaco.
After the opening rounds in Australia, Malaysia and China focused largely on the medium compound, with races one and three also featuring the soft option and Malaysia the hard, Bahrain will offer more of the same, with the yellow-marked soft again being pressed into action alongside the medium. That, however, will be the last time that the medium will be seen until after Monaco, with the hard and soft tyres being preferred for Barcelona, and the soft and supersoft the choice for the Principality classic.
The tyre choice for Bahrain takes into account the hot temperatures and medium-grip characteristics of the Middle Eastern circuit, while the hard tyre will be seen in Spain to cope with the high lateral loads that the tyres have to deal with at the Circuit de Catalunya. The decision to take the soft tyre to Barcelona, meanwhile, is designed to enhance the opportunities for different strategies. Monte Carlo is the slowest and most twisty circuit of the year, so the supersoft makes its debut to maximise the grip available over the course of the short lap.
“Our nominations this year are designed to push the envelope of performance, as can be seen from our latest choices," Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery emphasised, "Only the supersoft tyre is the same compound as last year: the other compounds are softer and therefore faster, designed to encourage closer racing as well as a wider variety of strategies.”
Under normal circumstances, each team will receive six sets of the harder compound and five of the softer option for the entire race weekend, while Pirelli will also take four sets of its green-ringed intermediate tyre and three sets of the blue-coloured full wet for each driver.