F1’s sole tyre manufacturer Pirelli announced the compound choices and mandatory sets for the first three fly-away Grands Prix which will take place in Australia, Bahrain and China. The new compound of the extended range won't appear during the initial phase of the season.
Pirelli expanded its tyre compound range from five to seven compounds. Each compound will be one step softer and the new compound, the hypersoft which will serve as the softest of the whole range, will be two steps softer than the previous softest, the ultrasoft. The second addition, the extrahard will only be a back-up tyre and won’t be used unless the next generation cars produce higher loads than expected.
The 2018 Formula One season will kick off in the beautiful city of Melbourne, Australia between 23 and 25 March. Pirelli will supply the teams with the ultrasoft, supersoft and soft compound for the season-opening weekend. The two harder compounds will be the mandatory race tyres.
Pirelli will bring the trio of the medium-soft-supersoft to Bahrain which will host the second GP of the season between 6 and 8 April. The two harder compounds will be the mandatory sets in the race. It means teams have to use at least one of those on Sunday.
The Milan-based company chose the same trio for China. The ultrasoft was nominated the qualifying set while the soft and the medium have to be available for the race.
Reminder of the rules
Each driver must save one set of the softest of the three nominated compounds for Q3. This set will then be returned for those who qualify in the top 10, but the remaining drivers will keep it for the race. Each driver must have both mandatory sets available for the race. Teams are free to choose the remaining 10 dry compound sets, making 13 sets in total for the weekend.