F1 teams given greater tyre choice freedom for testing

Formula 1 teams have been given greater tyre choice freedom by Pirelli for pre-season testing this year.

F1 teams given greater tyre choice freedom for testing
Mercedes AMG F1 Pirelli tyres
Pirelli ultrasoft tyre
Pirelli technicians
Pirelli technicians
An engineer with Pirelli tires

With only a week to go before the first official 2016 action gets underway, Pirelli has confirmed that it will be changing its approach to the build-up to the new campaign.

Unlike last year, where Pirelli mandated half of the 110 sets that teams had available for the three tests at Jerez and Barcelona, this time around the onus has been shifted to the teams to pick more.

Motorsport.com has learned that for the two four-day tests at Barcelona, Pirelli has given teams freedom to pick the compound selection for the 35 sets they are allowed to run each time out.

The only stipulation that has been laid down is that the teams pick at least one intermediate tyre and one full wet, meaning outfits are free to choose the remaining 33 sets.

Wider choice

The greater freedom for teams comes ahead of a season when there is a wider spectrum of tyre compounds, thanks to the introduction of a new ultrasoft compound.

Furthermore, new tyre rules mean that teams are able to tailor their individual approach to race strategies more because they can choose which compounds they run on a weekend.

It means a team that wants to be more aggressive is able to choose a softer selection of rubber than an outfit that prefers to take a harder option.

Due to the production schedules, teams have already made their choices for the opening few races, as well as the Barcelona tests.

The high abrasive nature of the Barcelona circuit makes it unlikely, however, that the ultrasoft will be taken, and teams will not be eager to take many of the supersofts either.

Additional reporting by Roberto Chinchero

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