Pirelli is bringing the following three tire compounds to Azerbaijan:
1. P Zero Yellow soft – less grip, less wear (used for long-race stints)
This is one of the most frequently used tires in Pirelli’s range, as it strikes a balance between performance and durability, with the accent on performance. It is a very adaptable tire that can be used as the softest compound at a high-severity track as well as the hardest compound at a low-severity track or street circuit.
2. P Zero Red supersoft – more grip, medium wear (used for shorter-race stints and for initial portion of qualifying)
This is the third-softest tire in Pirelli’s range, and it is ideal for tight and twisting circuits when a high level of mechanical grip is needed. The supersofts warm up rapidly, which has made it a stalwart choice for qualifying. But with increased grip comes increased degradation.
3. P Zero Purple ultrasoft – highest amount of grip, highest amount of wear (used for qualifying and select race situations)
This is the second-softest tire in Pirelli’s lineup, with rapid warming and massive performance. However, because it is so soft, it has a relatively limited lifespan.
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix marks the second time these three compounds have been packaged together in 2018. The first time came in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The Yellow soft tire has been used in every grand prix this year. The Red supersoft tire was utilized in the series’ second race – the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Purple ultrasoft tire was used in the most recent race – the Chinese Grand Prix.
Two of the three available compounds must be used during the race. Formula One teams are able to decide when they want to run which compound, adding an element of strategy to the race. A driver can also use all three sets of Pirelli tires in the race, if they so desire. (If there are wet track conditions, the Cinturato Blue full wet tire and the Cinturato Green intermediate tire will be made available.)
Pirelli provides each driver 13 sets of dry tires for the race weekend. Of those 13 sets, drivers and their teams can choose the specifications of 10 of those sets from the three compounds Pirelli selected. The remaining three sets are defined by Pirelli – two mandatory tire specifications for the race (one set of Yellow softs and one set of Red supersofts) and one mandatory specification for
Q3 (one set of Purple ultrasofts). Scuderia Ferrari’s drivers have selected the following amounts:
Sebastian Vettel: one set of Yellow softs, two sets of Red supersofts and ten sets of Purple ultrasofts
Kimi Raikkonen: two sets of Yellow softs, one set of Red supersofts and ten sets of Purple ultrasofts