Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has confirmed the compounds which will be available at the opening three rounds of the 2018 F1 season. Pirelli, the sport’s sole supplier since 2011, is to take a more aggressive approach next year, and has introduced a Hypersoft compound (pink) as well as a Superhard back-up option (orange). Neither compound, though, will be used across the opening three rounds, with Pirelli revealing its choices on Monday.
The Ultrasoft, Supersoft and Soft will be used for the first weekend of the year in Australia, the same approach as 2017, albeit with the caveat that the 2018 compounds will be softer. The Supersoft, Soft and Medium will be available in Bahrain, but for China Pirelli has adopted a different tactic. The Ultrasoft, Soft and Medium compounds will be taken to Shanghai, thus missing out the Supersoft, leaving teams facing a larger performance deficit between compounds than usual.
As with the 2017 Formula One season regulations, drivers will have free choice of the available compounds for 10 of the 13 sets to which they are allocated. One set of the softest compound must be set aside for use only in Q3, while one set of either of the two hardest compounds must be run during the race.