- Tyre news
Hard tyres to make return in India as option compound
The Indian Grand Prix will see a return of Pirelli's hard tyre, but it will be nominated as the option tyre rather than the prime, meaning drivers will have six sets of soft compound tyres and five hards to use over the entire weekend.
Each driver receives 11 sets of tyres at each grand prix weekend - six sets of primes and five sets of options - although they often don't use all six sets of primes. At every other grand prix this year the harder compound has been designated as the prime tyre, but in India Pirelli will break from convention and give the teams six softs and five sets of hards.
The current hard compound has proved unpopular with certain teams since its introduction at the Spanish Grand Prix where several teams struggled to get it up to temperature. But with hot temperatures and an abrasive surface expected at the brand new Buddh International Circuit at the end of the month, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said it was necessary to use the hards.
"India is a big unknown for all the teams and ourselves, so we will also be taking the most durable hard tyre in order to cover every base," he said.
Pirelli has also revealed that it will bring the soft and medium compounds to the final two races in Abu Dhabi and Brazil.
"Abu Dhabi is much more familiar territory for us, where we know that the medium and the soft tyre will suit the circuit well," Hembery added. "As for Interlagos, we're aiming to end the season on a high. The combination of medium and soft rubber has given us some close racing in the past, lots of overtaking and provided some good opportunities for interesting pit stop strategies."