Pirelli reveal Australia, Bahrain, China and Russia tyre selections under new 2016 rules
Teams have to submit their choices before Christmas for March's season-opener, as supersoft tyre selected alongside soft and medium for opening three rounds
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 14/01/16 3:28pm
Pirelli have revealed the three compounds which will be brought to 2016's opening three races under F1's new tyre rules.
In an attempt to add an extra variable into race strategies, Pirelli will be bring three, instead of the previous two, tyre compounds to every race weekend next season. Teams will be free to select 10 of the 13 tyre sets for each of their cars, with Pirelli choosing the remaining three sets.
With teams, and drivers, now able to select different tyre combinations independent of each other, Pirelli face longer lead times to manufacturer and ship the selections for all 22 cars.
As a result, the newly-released 2016 Sporting Regulations state that, once being informed of the tyres on offer, teams must submit their selections to the FIA "no less than eight weeks before the start of each event held in Europe and 14 weeks before the start of each event held outside Europe".
Pirelli have now confirmed the tyres teams have to choose from at the first three races of the season - Australia, Bahrain, China and Russia.
The same three compounds - supersoft, soft and medium - will be brought to all four venues
The Italian firm have also named the three compulsory sets which will be issued to each car. One set of the medium and one set of the soft tyre must be held back for each race, although drivers only actually have to use one of these during the respective grand prix.
However, drivers still must use two different slick compounds during a dry race. For example, if they start on the supersofts, they would have to run either the compulsory soft or medium set before taking the chequered flag.
One set of supersofts has also been assigned for Q3 in qualifying, which the top-10 runners will then have to give back. Those not making Q3 keep hold of their supersoft set for the race, as is current practice.
The fact that the new-for-2016 cars will not run until testing begins in late February means teams will have to make their tyre selections for the early flyaway rounds based largely on simulation data. Selections for Australia had to be made by December 17.
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