Tyre, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2015

Pirelli switches to super-softs for Russian Grand Prix

2015 F1 season

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Tyre, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2015Pirelli will bring its softest combination of tyres for the second running of the Russian Grand Prix after last year’s tyre selection was found to be very conservative.

Nico Rosberg covered almost the entire race distance on a single set of medium tyres last year after damaging his original rubber on the first lap and being forced to pit. This year Pirelli will bring its super-soft rubber instead of the medium, paired again with the soft tyre.

This is only the second time this year Pirelli has altered its tyre selection compared to what was used in 2014.

There is no change in the tyre selection for the next two races: the softest tyres available will be used again at Singapore, while Japan’s Suzuka circuit will again require Pirelli hardesy tyre mix.

Circuit2015 Option2015 Prime2014 Option2014 Prime
MelbourneSoftMediumSoftMedium
SepangMediumHardMediumHard
ShanghaiSoftMediumSoftMedium
BahrainSoftMediumSoftMedium
CatalunyaMediumHardMediumHard
Monte-CarloSuper-softSoftSuper SoftSoft
MontrealSuper-softSoftSuper SoftSoft
Red Bull RingSuper-softSoftSuper SoftSoft
SilverstoneMediumHardMediumHard
HungaroringSoftMediumSoftMedium
Spa-FrancorchampsSoftMediumSoftMedium
MonzaSoftMediumMediumHard
SingaporeSuper-softSoftSuper SoftSoft
SuzukaMediumHardMediumHard
SochiSuper-softSoftSoftMedium

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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32 comments on “Pirelli switches to super-softs for Russian Grand Prix”

  1. They could add a loop, corkscrew, lapdancing from Bernie for Putin at the opening ceremony and it would STILL be the most boring race of the year. Snooze-fest guaranteed.

    1. It is a snooze-fest almost every race these days.

      1. Curiously the ratings soar, not from great racing, but from terrible tyre created chaos.

    2. Exactly. Boycott Sochi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Why? Why didn’t we boycott Bahrain.Why didn’t we boycott China? Why are we not going to boycott the USA? All countries are guilty of human right abuses home and abroad.

    3. Ah, if only Putin himself was driving. He’d lap the entire field by the third lap whilst driving in reverse and wrestling a polar bear blindfolded.

      I wonder if we’ll see him cavorting with the drivers this year? “F1 doesn’t do politics”? Yeah, right.

  2. Logical choise really.

  3. Nice try, but I don’t think the problem was the tyres. If the engines haven’t magically gained a massive amount of fuel efficiency since last year (which I doubt they have), the race is going to be another lift-and-coast-fest, where the only limiting factor is the amount of fuel you need to make it around the lap without being overtaken. That’s hardly a challenge for the tyres. A feat like Rosberg’s drive from P22 to P2 while effectively using only one set of tyres for the entire race isn’t likely to happen again with the softer compounds, but aside from that extreme scenario, the race isn’t going to be affected. The track is the problem.

    1. Partial reason for massive fuel saving was that teams were “certain” that there would be safety car periods with walls near the track (on the straights) and Bianchi’s accident in fresh mind. Well, after all there wasn’t any – only two retirements and I think both of them retired to the pits.

    2. “feat”
      Haha

      1. @ Michael Brown:
        Using a single set of tyres for 52 out of 53 laps while managing to move up from P21 to P2 in 30 laps without killing those tyres or running into fuel consumption problems – calling that a “feat” is as far away from “haha” as it gets.

  4. Maybe a bit of a chance for Rosberg then.

  5. Sochi will be the first race in years that I won’t watch any part of. I didn’t want to watch last year for obvious reasons but decided to watch anyway and even in my wildest dreams, I didn’t think Putin/Bernie would be shoved down our throats quite as much as they were! I hoped the track would be OK although I had reservations having seen the layout. Having now seen a race there – wow…. It makes the Valencia street track look like one of the classics in comparison! An absolute abomination!

    1. The GP2 race was quite good. Anyways, it’s your decision that you’re free to make.

      1. The GP2 race was good however with DRS this year, it won’t be.

    2. Agree 100%.

      It will be the first race I don’t watch in over 30 years.

  6. If a race is going to be a one stop regardless of the tyre compounds, as seems likely given what Nico Rosberg did last year, then softening the compounds will only lead to more tippy-toe driving and duller racing. I’m not sure I agree with the FOM doctrine that more pit stops produce better races but surely there are smarter ways of achieving that like reducing the time cost of a pit-stop. Sochi is the newest circuit on the calendar but has a stupidly long pit lane along which drivers must trundle to make their stop which means everybody will err on the side of a cautious strategy rather than an aggressive one.

    1. Silverstone and CoA both have longer pit lanes. Yet unlike boring Silverstone, Sochi has a very good potential layout. Races can be made more interesting with a quick easy solution – narrow the track to 10-12 m, especially on sections 2 and 3. So 90 deg corners would be very slow.

      1. And even less down to 7-8 in 90 deg corners.

      2. ” Yet unlike boring Silverstone, Sochi has a very good potential layout.”

        You seriously need to lay off the meth & crack salads mate.

  7. I’m glad Suzuka’s squeezed inbetween the next two rounds of the World Carpark Championship…

    1. @alec-glen Yes, it’s a shame that a replacement for Valencia was found so soon after it was dropped from the WCPC calender. On the basis of the last street circuit Baku cobbled together, the WCPC is looking like a four round championship next year. I wouldn’t be surprised if Baku has a barrier at the end of the pitlane that only opens when you insert euros in a box – oh, wait, Azerbaijan isn’t in Europe…

  8. common sense finally.

  9. no DRS and more pit stops would bring excitement i think. 2 stoppers vs 3 stoppers, lots of overtaking done on track, natural slipstreams… yes!

    1. @sato113 More pit stops would actually likely reduce overtaking done on track because teams would just have more opportunities to do the undercut.

      And any on track overtaking produced by tyres would likely be be as boringly easy as DRS passes.

      The best way of getting more on track action, more overtaking done on track & better all round on track action would be by going back to no-stop races, puts more of the incentive to overtake on the drivers as there’s no undercut or overcut, If you wanna pass a guy you push hard to do it on track.

      Its the introduction of multiple pit stops through the early 90s that was one of the key reasons on track overtaking declined & even before refueling was introduced the races with multiple stops always featured less overtaking than the 1/non-stop races.

      1. Since 2011, the number of overtakes is strongly correlated with the number of pitstops, or maybe more accurate, tyre wear. The huge tyre degradation we saw in 2011 made races incredibly chaotic, with a lot of pitlane and on-track overtakes. Since then the teams have learned more about the tyres and how to preserve them. Especially with the introduction of the turbo engines last year, the (rear) tyres have become harder, which has resulted in fewer pitstops (from about 2.5 in 2011 and 2013 to 2 in 2014 and probably something like 1.5 in 2015) and fewer overtakes (about 60 per race in 2011 to about 30 nowadays).
        So the softer tyre allocation for the Russian GP will be a good thing.

  10. Well it’s a small step in the right direction, even though SuperSoft isn’t what it used to be.

    I hope they’ve done something with the runoff at T1/2.

    1. I hope so too, but most likely they’ve added a huge kerb there, and it will be removed after the drivers complain about it and it is deemed too dangerous.

  11. [Clarkson voice] It’s the worst Grand Prix…

    …in the woooooorld.

  12. I expect the Russian GP to be a 1-stop race this time as well despite the softest available tyre compounds.

  13. Gotta have more of that there tyre management, Can’t be having drivers able to push hard for more than a few laps!

  14. I think It will be nothing changes, the race will be very boring again.

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