Formula One official tyre supplier Pirelli has expanded its dry-weather tyre range from five to seven compounds, with the introduction of a Hypersoft and back-up Superhard option for the new season. The existing compounds have also been moved a step softer compared to their 2017 counterparts, amid a proliferation of one-stop races.
For Australia, Pirelli has nominated the Ultrasoft, Supersoft and Soft tyres, with teams allowed choice of 10 of their 13 allocated sets, as per the 2017 regulations. Teams have selected either seven, eight or nine sets of the Ultrasoft compound in order to cope with the demands of Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.
Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen have both made a conservative approach for the first race of the 2018 F1 championship. The two Scuderia Ferrari drivers will have three sets of the yellow-banded compound, three sets of Supersofts and seven Ultrasofts.
Mercedes has been among the most aggressive, choosing nine Ultrasofts, while Red Bull has gone with eight, and Red Bull seven. Most teams will have two or three sets of the Supersofts available, with Renault’s duo and Haas’ Romain Grosjean the anomalies, having selected four. As for the Soft tyres, reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton – along with Grosjean and Williams debutant Sergey Sirotkin – will have just one set available, which is the batch allocated by Pirelli.