Formula One racing features a single tyre supplier, with
all teams using identical Pirelli rubber. The advantages of this (over
multiple tyre suppliers) include closer racing and reduced testing and
At each Grand Prix every team is given access
to two specifications of dry-weather tyre. Unless conditions are wet,
drivers must use both specifications during the race. A green band on
the sidewall of the softer compound allows spectators to distinguish
which tyre a driver is on.
Over the race weekend, each driver has
access to 11 sets of dry-weather tyres (six of the harder ‘prime’
specification and five of the softer ‘option’ specification), four sets
of intermediate tyres and three sets of wet tyres.
Friday’s first and second practice sessions the drivers are only allowed
to use three sets of dry-weather tyres (two ‘primes, one ‘option’). One
set of ‘prime’ tyres must be returned to the tyre supplier before
Practice Two, and one set of each specification before the start of
A driver will then be allocated eight further
sets of dry-weather tyres (four of each specification) to use over the
rest of the event, but one set of each spec must be returned to the tyre
supplier before the start of Saturday’s qualifying session. At the
start of the race the cars that took part in Q3 must be fitted with the
tyres the driver used to set his grid time.
Teams are free to
use wet tyres as they see fit during qualifying and the race. However,
during the preceding practice sessions, they may only be used if the
track has been declared wet by the race director. If a race is started
behind the safety car due to heavy rain, the use of wet tyres is
Unless wet tyres have been used, drivers must use
both dry tyre compounds during a race and failure to do so will see them
excluded from the results. Or if the race is suspended and can't be
restarted, 30 seconds will be added to the elapsed race time of any
driver who hasn't used both compounds.
All tyres are given a bar
code at the start of the weekend so that the FIA can closely monitor
their use and ensure that no team is breaking regulations.