Tyres, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Pirelli chooses ultra-soft tyres for Spa and no hard tyres for Suzuka

2017 F1 season

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Formula One will use the softest available tyres for its race at Spa-Francorchamps, one of the quickest tracks on the calendar.

The sport’s official tyre supplier Pirelli has nominated its ultra-soft, super-soft and soft tyres for September’s Belgian Grand Prix. Pirelli has erred on the softer side of its compound choices due to the hardness of this year’s tyres.

It has also chosen not to bring its hardest available for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, another of F1’s most punishing tracks. Drivers will have the super-soft, soft and medium tyres available for that race.

Pirelli has now opted for softer tyre selections in seven of the fifteen nominations it has announced so far. It is yet to declare the tyre choices for Monza, Circuit of the Americas, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Interlagos and Yas Marina.

2017 tyre nominations so far

Circuit2016 tyres2017 tyres
Red Bull RingSoftSuper-softUltra-softSoftSuper-softUltra-soft

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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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  • 7 comments on “Pirelli chooses ultra-soft tyres for Spa and no hard tyres for Suzuka”

    1. So Hard will not be used at all?

      1. Exactly. Autosport has headlined it that way as well:

    2. Interesting logic: They’re afraid to bring the ultra-soft to Baku, but not to a circuit like Spa despite it being harder on tyres than a street circuit. If a circuit like Spa can handle the softest compound that is harder than the hardest 2016 compound then so can a circuit like Baku that primarily features slow-speed corners, unlike Spa. Hopefully, now they’ll have the courage to bring the softest combination (ultra-soft/supersoft/soft) to Monza and Mexico at least as well.

      1. Its because of the long straight in Baku. The hardness/softness of the Pirelli compounds is not in the actual rubber, but the construction of the tyre. So an ultrasoft would have a different structure allowing the tyre to move more, so it gives more grip. This construction gets the most punishment in long high speed corners, and on long straights where the tyre is pushed into the ground with huge forces. This determines which track is hard or soft on the tyres.

        1. @vjanik Interesting info, I didn’t know that. Thanks! It immediately makes to me that Spa and Suzuka were among the tracks with possibly hard tyres, while others such as Baku were not. I always thought it were corners that destroy your tyres.

          1. Ferrari was doing 350+ kph in spa last year and the spa straight even has eau rought/radillon in between which puts far more stress on the tire. I honestly don’t think the long baku straight was the problem, it’s just that pirelli was caught off guard in being too conservative with tire choices and there was not enough time to react for baku.

    3. @addvariety yes, i was also surprised when i found out. there was a bit on Sky last year where they explained this, but i dont remember exactly which race show.

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