Pirelli Announces Tire Compounds for Baku
The rubber that will hit the road is quickly becoming the conversation piece in the F1 paddock with Pirelli continuing to reveal details.
The tire manufacture announced they will bring the purple-marked ultrasoft compound, red-marked supersoft, and the yellow-marked soft compound for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix which takes place on April 29. It will mark the second event of 2018 with this combination, following the season opener in Australia.
In previous years, F1 teams had their choice of just two compounds per race. However, Pirelli and FIA switched to three sets for 2016, with the requirement that each team must use two of the three during the event. For each of these races, the hardest two compounds at each race are the required compound.
Qualifying regulations, which went into effect in 2016, state that the softest tire compound for the weekend is designated as the compound for the final session.
For the first two qualifying sessions, teams can use whichever compound they prefer, except for the dedicated Q3 tire. The top eight drivers will use the Q3 tire set in the third sector of qualifying and give it back to Pirelli afterward, while the remaining drivers may keep their set for the race. They can either start the race with the softest compound or choose another.
Outside of those regulations, teams may select their remaining 10 sets for the weekend, using whichever combination they select. Their choices also must be submitted 15 weeks in advance for long-haul events, and eight weeks in advance of European races. The deadline for decisions was implemented to reduce transportation costs. If a team does not give their choices to the FIA before the deadline, the FIA will choose which tires the team can use.
For the first five events of the season, though, all 13 sets for each driver are identical and defined in the regulations: seven sets of the softest of the three nominated compounds, four sets of the middle compound and two of the hardest compound nominated.
With the reveal of these compounds, the compounds have been unveiled for four races in 2018.
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