Of the three compounds set aside by Pirelli, the softest will always be the one set aside for qualifying, with one each of the other compounds allocated for Sunday. The regulations state two different compounds must be used during the race, though that does not have to be both of the tyres set aside for use by Pirelli for Sunday.
OK, you've read the explanations; how Pirelli will nominate two mandatory race sets for each car and one set of the softer compound will have to be kept for use in Q3 only, and at least one of the two sets must be used during the race... yadda, yadda, yadda. So what? Do you get it? I still am confused. So many questions. Will the top 10 start on the qualy tyres they used in Q2 like last year? Or is that the top 8 now?
Thankfully, those kind folk at Pirelli have provided a video.
Now that we've seen how this works in a race, I am thankful that it actually works. There was a variety of different tyre strategies employed with some team risking one way and another going in a different route. Although Ferrari who decided not to use the mediums for the last part of the race was probably due to them not having enough information on those tyres because of the lack of testing on Friday and Saturday. Who knows if the race weekend went normally i.e. without rain disruptions, we would probably see a convergence of strategies anyway.
The jury is still out on this one as far as I'm concerned. I'd like to see a few more races to see if the variety in tyre options does have an effect. Bahrain should give us more of an idea how it will work as the chance of rain there is very slim. Although the twilight nature of the race will affect tyre choice as temperature changes could be quite big during sundown. We'll see.
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