P irelli is building for the new Formula 1 season completely new tires. They are much wider than before. On the front axle, they grow in width from 245 to 305 millimeters. At the rear, 405 millimeter wide rollers roll on the wheel carriers. The new dimensions require a new construction. Pirelli has also adapted the compounds and added new materials to the rubbers.
Tires for GP Australia and GP China 2017
For the season opener in Australia, the tire manufacturer is supplying the three softest compounds in its range : ultra-soft, super-soft, soft. The teams were informed of this 15 weeks before the overseas race. Then they had a week to configure ten sets from the three mixes. The remaining three of the total of 13 tire sets are prescribed by Pirelli: the Ultrasoft for the third part of the qualification. The supersoft and soft for the race. One of them has to be driven in the Grand Prix at least at one point in time. The procedure was already like this in 2016. The teams must have already informed Pirelli of the composition of the ten sets of tires for Australia. The season starts in 13 weeks.
Pirelli has also already nominated the tires for the Chinese GP two weeks after Australia. The Italians ship the supersoft, soft and medium variants to Shanghai. So each one level harder than for Melbourne. Because the circuit in China with its long curves puts a lot more strain on the tires. For the race, each driver must have one set of the soft and one medium ready. One of them has to stick to the car once during the 56 laps. The third sentence that Pirelli specifies is the super soft for Q3.
Spare tires as back-up
The new Formula 1 cars are likely to generate around 20 percent more downforce than their predecessors . The lap times should fall between three and five seconds. This means that higher forces act on the tires. During test drives together with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, Pirelli tried to simulate the higher downforce values with converted 2015 cars.
The cars will change so radically in 2017 that the teams will work day after day and week after week learn and make great progress. Which will increase the downforce over the course of the season. Which in turn puts more strain on the tires. That is why Pirelli is taking a protective measure. The Italians have homologated a spare tire for each compound with the FIA.As a back-up, so to speak. 'These extra mixes are designed to meet more traditional criteria than the new mixes used in the first part of the championship,' says Pirelli. It can be assumed that the back-up tires are designed more conservatively in order not to be unpleasantly surprised by excessive downforce values later in the season.