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.