Pirelli allays fears of confusion over F1 tyre rules

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Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says Formula One fans should not worry too much about the 2016 tyre rules, though he admits the risk of confusion exits.

The new regulations have been devised to offer teams and drivers greater freedom and scope in tyre strategy. For each race weekend, Pirelli announces three compounds, with the softest one required to be used in Q3 and at least one of two compounds nominated mandatory for the grand prix.

As a result, Pirelli effectively picks three sets of tyres but teams are then free to choose the remaining 10 they will use during the event. What’s more, they have to make their selection known 14 weeks prior to flyaway races, and eight before a European race.

“I think if you try and delve into all the minute detail of what's happening then I think you do stand the risk of being confused, as you would do with the previous regulations, when you asked what tyres you're going to use at a certain point of time, Hembery told GPUpdate.net in a wide-ranging interview.

“I think you've just got to look at it as what you see on the screen, and don't try to worry too much about the detail.

“I know some people like to do that, but I think it's more about the racing. You're just going to have compound colours, compound levels – there are no more Prime and Option, which we know from surveys also confused people.

“Just choose your favourite colour and favourite team and hopefully they're working well together.”

Pirelli has already revealed its nominations for the first four grands prix, with the Italian company selecting the same three compounds – medium, soft, and supersoft – for Australia, Bahrain, China, and Russia.

F1’s sole tyre supplier also has a new purple-marked ultrasoft compound in its P-Zero range this year, though it is likely to only appear on low-grip street circuits like Monaco.

Finally, should a team fail to choose its tyres on schedule, Pirelli will make the selection on its behalf.

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