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Pirelli announce unusual tyre compound choices for season opening races

Pirelli have decided on the tyre compounds that will be used for the first handful of races of the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship.

Sainz Barcelona
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

The tyre compound choices that will be used for the first three Grands Prix of the 2022 season have been announced by Pirelli.

With tyres being a new factor of consideration for the teams this season as they adjust to life with the bigger 18-inch wheels, Pirelli will continue to manufacture five different compounds of varying grip and longevity for use across the broad spectrum of circuits on the calendar.

The C1 represents the most durable tyre, albeit with the least grip, while the C5 is the softest and, in theory, quickest – the trade-off being a far shorter lifespan.

The characteristics of each circuit are taken into consideration in order to allow Pirelli to make the best choice of compounds to bring along to each race, as the tyre manufacturer choose which compound will be marked as the 'Soft', 'Medium' and 'Hard' for all events.

An unusual choice for Australia

While Pirelli have opted for the three hardest compounds for use in Bahrain, as well as their three middle compounds for Saudi Arabia, the tyre manufacturer have made an unusual choice for the third race of the season.

With F1 returning to Australia for the first time since 2019, and the track heavily revised to a much faster layout, Pirelli have opted to go for two steps of compound separation with the Medium and Soft tyre.

For the Albert Park round, the Medium tyre will be the C3 compound, with the Soft tyre being the C5. It's the first time since moving to the C1-C5 model that Pirelli have gone for two steps of separation.

A spokesperson for Pirelli told RacingNews365.com that the decision was taken as "we believe it's the best choice for the new asphalt and new layout".

The two-step separation should allow for more variety when the teams are deciding on race strategies, given that the Q2 tyre rule has been scrapped for 2022.

Pirelli's tyre choices for Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Australia

Race C1 C2 C3 C4 C5
Bahrain Hard Medium Soft
Saudi Arabia Hard Medium Soft
Australia Hard Medium Soft

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