Paul Hembery describes Pirelli's decision to make its hardest tyre available for this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix as “the only sensible option to offer a number of different strategy variables.”
New-for-2016 regulations have seen teams pick from three different compounds nominated by Pirelli this year.
Formula One’s official supplier has selected its harder range - hards, mediums, softs - only five time out of 21 races. Before Interlagos, the orange-marked rubber was used in Spain, Great-Britain, Malaysia, and Japan.
“We’re seeing the hard tyres in Brazil for the first time since 2013, which should prove to be very effective against the high-energy demands of the track,” Pirelli motorsport director Hembery said.
“In 2015 we had a three-stop race, so with the increase in performance and downforce this year, taking a harder tyre – which has nonetheless been a very rare occurrence this season – was the only sensible option to offer a number of different strategy variables.
“Balancing its durability against the extra performance of the softer compounds will hold the key to the race tactics. The weather will obviously play a big part in these calculations too.”
The Brazilian GP tyre allocations show that all the teams have loaded up on the medium and soft tyres though, with many drivers getting a single set of the hards despite it being of the two mandatory tyre sets for the race.