Following its early announcement of the tire allocation for the first race of the 2016 Formula 1 season in Australia, Pirelli has now confirmed its choices for the second and third rounds in Bahrain and China.
For 2016, teams will now have a choice of three compounds per race as opposed to two in 2015 following the addition of the ‘ultra-soft’ tire, taking Pirelli’s range of dry compounds up to five.
The softest of the three compounds must be used in Q3, making it a defacto ‘qualifying tire’, while the two harder choices must be used at some point during the race.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Pirelli confirmed that it would be taking the super-soft, soft and medium tires to both the races in Bahrain and China, mirroring the selection for the Australian Grand Prix.
Teams will be required to use the medium and soft compounds during the race, while the super-soft must be used during Q3. Those who qualify inside the top ten will give this qualifying set back to Pirelli after the session on Saturday.
Super-soft tires will be available in both Bahrain and China for the first time ever in 2016, giving drivers a chance to try out one of Pirelli’s quickest tires on two tough tracks.
The Bahrain Grand Prix will be held slightly earlier than normal this year on April 3 following the decision to move the Malaysian Grand Prix into a fall slot, partnering the Singapore Grand Prix.
The Chinese Grand Prix’s place as round three remains unchanged, though, and takes place five days later than it did in 2015.