Are new tire regulations actually working?

Two races into the 2016 Formula 1 season and they’ve both been good events if not spoiled by qualifying controversy that seems unnecessary. Even so, one of the changes that many believe has worked is the new tire regulations.

The wording was a bit wonky when I originally read it and I’m still quite completely sure I understand the way they’ve described it but nonetheless, it has added something to the races even if I can’t quite follow exactly what’s happening.

It’s difficult to tell, easily, what tires each driver is on and whether or not they are scrubbed sets etc. I know many have spoken about the little graphic next to the name and whether it is highlighted or not but it seems that a full explanation from our broadcaster would help on how to read the graphics and what it means.

As a construct that seems to be working (and I do get a kick out of people being amazed that offering different compounds and letting teams run different rubber produces different result), most press is really getting all in on the graphics and analyzing the tire selection and running the gambits and permutations.

One guy who feels it has helped is Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo:

“So far we’ve had two races this year, and having that extra set of tyres, that extra compound choice, for me it’s made it really exciting,” said Ricciardo.

“Even throughout practice and qualifying things change, and for the race you can go for different strategies.

“It creates a bit more excitement, it’s another factor, another variable for the race, and something else for the driver and team to think about.”

I would say the key word here is “a bit more” and I agree with him. I still feel that a second tire supplier would add heaps more excitement or offering three compounds per race and letting the teams use what they want when they want would be good but what do I know?

You folks are smarter than I am about the nuance so how do you feel the new tire regulations are working? Happy with the results? Are you able to follow it closely and understand the differences when Nico selects 4 sets of SS while Lewis selects 5?

Hat Tip: Motorsport

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


What Pirelli have done so far is given drivers the choice of the two compounds they had last year, and one that is one step softer. They have also mandated so far that drivers keep one set of each of the harder two compounds for the race. The new softest compound effectively becomes the qualifying tyre that everyone uses throughout qualifying, and the top eight (hopefully top ten soon) have to start the race on. By mandating that each driver keeps a set of each of the harder two compounds available for the race, means that these will be new… Read more »


I have no objective data to support this but I feel the extra compound (and almost more so the ability to shun one of the offered compounds) is giving cars with different characteristics a better chance. Last year, it seemed like if your car didn’t care for one of the two the jig was up because at some point in the race you’d have to put it on. This year it seems some chassis are able to side-step the compound they don’t get along with, I think that’s good especially for the mid field. And if a team has been… Read more »

Negative Camber

I’m with you, I have no data to back it up either but I feel like it is adding something and for the very reason you state. Having more compounds allows for teams to use tires that flatter their chassis a little more. What I was concerned about is that, for example, the SS may flatter a Sauber more than the medium but as a SS they won’t last as long and a three-stopper, let’s say, is not the fastest way around the track so does it make a difference? Those are the details or objective data, as you call… Read more »