Pirelli announces late change to Bahrain tire choice

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Pirelli has changed its choice of tires for the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

The official F1 tire supplier originally selected the soft and hard tire compounds for this weekend’s race. But in a late change the medium tire will now be used instead of the soft.

Pirelli’s soft tire came in for criticism during the Chinese Grand Prix weekend as drivers were only able to run it for short stints before it needed to be replaced.

Most drivers used the soft tire for only five or six laps during the race. Mark Webber ditched his after a single lap.

But Pirelli said the decision not to bring the soft tire to Bahrain was made before the race in China.

“When we made the allocation choices for Bahrain in December of last year, we had not done one winter test, let alone a race,” said motorsport director Paul Hembery.

“Our initial choice for Bahrain was soft and hard, but once we had seen the new generation of our tires run in Malaysia, a track similar to Bahrain, we decided that the combination medium and hard would be better suited for the Bahrain circuit.”

The medium and hard tire combination to be used this weekend is the same as was used for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hembery added Bahrain is “one of the most demanding tracks of the year for the tires, mostly because of the high ambient and track temperatures”. Three-stop strategies were the norm in last year’s race and Pirelli expect that to be the same this weekend.

FIA returns Manor’s F1 entry fee for 2017

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Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.

Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).

Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.

The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.

It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.