Pirelli has revealed the compounds that it will take to the 23 Grand Prix that currently comprise the 2021 calendar.
Most of the choices are similar to those planned for last year or 2019, although two – Azerbaijan and Brazil – are a step softer and there are also two (Holland and Saudi Arabia) that are brand new circuits for 2021.
Taking into account some of the logistical difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has the potential to disrupt travel and supply chains, the sporting regulations have changed to offer maximum flexibility, with tyre choices no longer having to be made 14 weeks in advance for long-haul events and eight weeks in advance for European events.
As was the case last year, there will be a fixed allocation for each driver of two hard sets, three medium sets, and eight soft sets at each race.
This means that the choices and allocations will be fixed throughout the season, although Pirelli and the FIA reserve the right to alter the selection up to 15 days before each race should circumstances require it.
"Announcing all the selections for the year right now will help the teams and the drivers with their planning," said Mario Isola, "also allowing for maximum flexibility just in case the calendar has to change due to Covid-19 restrictions, as we saw last year.
"The selections themselves are on the whole similar to last year (or 2019, in the case of races not run in 2020), which means that teams should have plenty of data to fall back on.
"We have two races where the nominations are softer. The first is Azerbaijan, where our C2 hard tyre wasn't used last time, so we are now going with the softest selection of all: C3, C4 and C5.
"Then we have Brazil, where we will take the C2, C3 and C4 this year, as the C1 that was selected as the hardest choice last time didn't show a particularly big advantage in terms of wear over the medium. In both cases, the softer nomination could lead to a greater variety of race strategies."