Pirelli tyre choices open strategy options for Silverstone
With a full step between Pirelli’s two dry-weather tyre options for Silverstone, the teams’ choices of strategy will be a point of interest for many Formula 1 fans in the weeks to come.
The British Grand Prix isn’t until July 6th-8th, with Monaco, Canada and the Grand Prix of Europe at Valencia to come first, but Silverstone is always a talking point on the tour.
And with the P Zero Silver hard tyres and P Zero Yellow softs to choose from, there should be plenty to talk about for the teams in the run-up to the race weekend, and for spectators during the British Grand Prix itself.
Each team also receives three sets of wet-weather blue-rimmed tyres and four sets of green damp-weather Pirellis for the race, to go with the five sets of soft and six sets of hard tyres available to them during practice, qualifying and the race.
In commentary, you’ll often hear the harder tyres referred to as the ‘prime’ compound, with the softs described as the ‘options’ – and that’s how the teams typically refer to them in radio discussions, too.
The term ‘prime’ is used because the harder compound theoretically lasts for more laps, although many of the drivers actually prefer softer tyres that set faster lap times, and more pit stops, for a faster race overall.
Most interestingly of all, the term ‘prime’ simply refers to the harder of the two available compounds at any one race – so the soft tyres can sometimes be the ‘primes’ if the super-soft Pirelli compound is made available as the ‘option’.
With all teams required to run both compounds at least once during the race itself – unless it rains – it’s easy to see how the strategies get very complicated very quickly, and why a sudden downpour or safety car situation can lead to the engineers back at HQ running some very fast calculations to decide what to do next!