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Pirelli outlines revamped F1 tire regulations for 2016

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Pirelli has outlined the updated tire regulations for the 2016 Formula One season following the World Motor Sport Council’s decision to approve its plans.

Pirelli will introduce a fifth dry compound for 2016, adding the ‘ultra-soft’ to the current selection that comprises of super-soft, soft, medium and hard.

In 2015, Pirelli brought its two most suitable compounds to each track depending on the conditions along with the intermediate and wet rain tires.

Here’s the run-down from Pirelli on the changes to the tire regulations for F1 in 2016:

PRE-RACE TIRE NOMINATIONS AND PREPARATIONS

  • In consultation with the FIA, Pirelli will decide in advance which three compounds can be used at each race, and communicate this information to the teams.
  • The total number of sets that can be used during practice, qualifying and racing remains the same as it is currently: 13.
  • Pirelli will nominate two mandatory race sets for each car. Furthermore, one set of the softer compound will have to be kept for use in Q3 only.
  • The two mandatory sets chosen by Pirelli can be of two different compounds, from the three that have been nominated for the race weekend. These sets will obviously be identical for each team.
  • The remaining 10 sets can be chosen by each team, from the three compounds nominated for the race weekend.
  • The teams will make their choices within a deadline set by Pirelli. They will communicate their choices to the FIA, which will in turn tell Pirelli how many tires to produce. The choices for each car will remain secret until 2 weeks before the race. If a team does not meet the deadline, the choice will be made by the FIA.
  • Once the choices for each car have been made, the FIA will continue to assign the tires randomly via a barcode, as is the case currently.
  • The choices made by each team can vary for each of its cars: so each driver within a team can have a different allocation.
  • The tires will be distinguished by different coloured markings on the sidewalls, as is currently the case.

DURING THE RACE

  • Teams will still have to give back tires according to a certain schedule, but they can decide which tires to give back at the following times:
    • One set after the first 40 minutes of FP1
    • One set at the end of FP1
    • Two sets at the end of FP2
    • Two sets at the end of FP3
  • The two mandatory sets nominated by Pirelli cannot be given back during practice and must be available for use in the race. At least one of these two sets must be used during the race – but the teams can decide which one.
  • The top 10 at the end of qualifying will still have to give back the set of the softer compound nominated for Q3, and start the race on the tires with which they set their fastest time in Q2 (the same rule as is the case currently). All other drivers will be able to use the set that is saved for Q3 during the race.

Valtteri Bottas on Silverstone pole; Nico Hulkenberg a surprising third

F1 Bottas Hamilton Silverstone
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Valtteri Bottas nipped Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in Silverstone qualifying Saturday to maintain the team’s hammerlock on F1 results this season while Nico Hulkenberg was a surprise in third.

Hulkenberg is filling in for Sergio Perez for the second consecutive race while the Racing Point driver recovers from coronavirus.

It’s the best F1 start since 2016 for Hulkenberg, who was left without a full-time ride after the 2019 season. He finished 20th at Silverstone last week when an engine problem on the grid prevented him ftaking the green.

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“The last seven to eight days have been crazy,” Hulkenberg said after qualifying. “This weekend I felt much better prepared. Q3 was just head down, full beans, and give it whatever I had. I’m a bit surprised to be standing here, but there’s a big smile on my face.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen qualified fourth and will be among the field trying to derail the Mercedes duo that has won the first four races of an F1 season delayed because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Feels good,” Bottas said after nipping Hamilton by a few hundredths of a second on his final lap for his 13th career pole position. ” I just love qualifying especially, when it goes well. Proud to drive this car. The race pace is there, so our first job is to get a good start off the line tomorrow and go from there.”

The impressive lap came two days after Bottas, who won the season opener in Austria, announced a one-year contract extension with the team.

Mercedes also is set to begin negotiating a new deal with Hamilton, who has won the past three races in F1 but was disappointed Saturday.

“Valtteri did a great job, but for me, it wasn’t a perfect last lap,” he said. “I don’t think many teams will be doing a one-stop race tomorrow so let’s wait and see how things turn out.”