Choosing tires in 2016…I’ll take super, super soft please

I’d prefer that Formula 1 would have a tire supplier and that they would bring a few compounds to each race and allow the teams to pick the compounds that work best for their chassis on any given circuit and let them run.

According to an AUTOSPORT article, I may be getting part of my wish:

“For 2016 Pirelli will add a fifth compound to its selection, and it will nominate three choices per weekend – one of which will be mandatory for all teams

Teams will then get to choose which of the remaining two compounds they want to use alongside the mandatory option, and the rule requiring both types of tyre to be used in the race will remain.”

Pirelli say they are working on a super-super-soft tire as well for 2016 but they are still adamant that they need more testing in order to get the tires to a level they feel is optimum.

Perhaps at least being able to choose a compound you like best is good but mandating that teams have to use two different compounds is an idea that, quite honestly, has run its course. It was all devised over a dodgy Canadian Grand Prix in which the tires were wonky and made it really difficult for the teams.

I’ve never been keen on ushering in a construct that was an error because it had a big impact on the racing. Let’s just fix the racing and not throw constructs at it shall we?

If they really want to add spice to the show, then bring in multiple tire suppliers and let the fur fly.


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Chris Tritabaugh

I love the tire situation in F1 right now, in fact I even think it could be a little more aggressive in regard to the delta between compounds. Some of the best racing of the past few years have come from drivers using divergent tire strategies. A three stop vs two, for example. Letting a team choose a different compound might provide such aggression. However, F1 engineers are far to pragmatic, and mostly likely they will all end up choosing the same compounds anyway. It might be contrived, but I also believe the romance of the “old days of F1”… Read more »

Patrick Chapman

Since there has only been one tyre supplier, I have wanted at least two. It was far more interesting and the tyre manufacturers didn’t have the influence that Pirelli have now. Bring on multiple manufacturers and let the rubber fly er fur. From a safety point of view the manufacturer should recommend pressures and camber angles and if you want to run outside of those peramaters, then on your own head be it. Here’s three compounds to choose from and let us know well in advance so that we can make sure that we deliver them to you in good… Read more »


The Autosport article also states that the different compounds will be labelled A-E or 1-5, but the three compounds for each race will be referred to as Hard, Medium and Soft regardless of the actual compounds available. While this may make the commentators job easier, it could make issues that Mercedes experienced last weekend harder to explain.


I don’t like the fact that you have to use one of the compounds. I would rather see each car will be received 25 sets for each tire compound that will be used for the entire season.

Paul KieferJr

I’d rather that the FIA just shut up and let the teams choose what they want, even if it’s not Pirelli….but that’s just me.

Junipero Mariano

I agree with you, Todd. If they didn’t have to compromise between two tire compounds, wouldn’t the teams be able to optimize setup better? And since they get to choose compounds anyway, isn’t mandating a minimum number of pit stops enough?

I think that to avoid another Williams-esque mishap, I call for calling the new compound the super duper soft!


So the teams will be forced to choose the softest available tyre -because that’s what everyone else is doing- for qualifying. Then they will either use that or the next step up for the race.

This changes nothing.