Pirelli release driver tyre choices for the Spanish Grand Prix


SOCHI (RUSSIA) - 01/05/2016 © FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO PER PIRELLI MEDIA (© COPYRIGHT FREE)

Pirelli have released the individual tyre choices for each driver ahead of the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, and once again the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS and Scuderia Ferrari teams have varying selections.

The three tyre compounds nominated by the Italian tyre manufacturer for the Spanish Grand Prix weekend are, the orange walled hard tyre, which gets its first outing this season, the white walled medium compound and the yellow walled soft rubber.

The main difference between the tyre choices of the two top teams is in their medium and soft selections. Mercedes have opted for one more set of the medium tyre than their rivals with five for the German squad as opposed to the Italian teams four, but one set less of the soft tyre, with Mercedes bringing seven sets of the softest available rubber, compared to the eight sets selected by the Maranello based squad.

Despite the Montmelo circuit notoriously taking a lot out of the tyres, the hard compound tyre does not appear to be favoured by the majority of teams, and the top teams in particular, with only one or two sets of that option being chosen. Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams Martini Racing and the McLaren F1 team are all taking just one set each of the hardest rubber.

The most aggressive strategy comes from the two Ferrari and Haas F1 team drivers. Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Esteban Gutierrez have each chosen one set of the hard compound tyres, alongside four sets of medium and eight sets of the soft, whilst Romain Grosjean has taken a slightly different approach with two sets of hard, three sets of medium and eight sets of the soft rubber.

Williams, McLaren and Renault Sport F1 driver Jolyon Palmer have all gone the same way as Mercedes on tyre strategy, with one set of hard, five medium and seven sets of the soft compound, whilst the Red Bull Racing drivers, along with Kevin Magnussen, have gone another route, favouring two sets of the hard tyre, alongside four sets of the mediums, and seven sets of soft.

Sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso meanwhile have opted to split their driver’s strategies with Carlos Sainz taking two sets of the hard, five medium, and six soft, whilst team-mate Max Verstappen will have one set of the hard rubber, six sets of medium and also six sets of the soft option, available to him.

The Sahara Force India and Manor Racing squads have both selected two sets of the hardest tyre, alongside five sets of medium and six sets of the soft rubber, whilst the Sauber F1 team, who have been suffering with tyre degradation this season, have again gone quite conservative compared to other teams with two sets of hard, six sets of the medium compound and just five sets of the soft.

With a good mix of tyre options between the drivers and teams, we should again see some interesting strategies being played out during the course of the race, which should add to the overall excitement on race day.