Hypers return for Russia, as Pirelli ditches supersofts again

Pirelli has announced which three compounds will be available to drivers on the grid for the Russian Grand Prix in September.

The new pink hypersoft tyres – which made their race début last month in Monaco, and reprised their role in Canada last week – will be back.

Pirelli will also take the next-softest compound to Sochi, with the purple ultras on the list for drivers to choose.

But the red-walled supersoft tyres are absent again, with Pirelli opting to jump direct to the soft tyres as their ‘prime’ compound for the event.

That means the supersofts won’t have been selected for five races in a row. Prior to the British Grand Prix, they had been on the menu for eight of the first nine races of 2018.

Because of the supersofts being omitted, Russia will be the fourth race in succession to have ‘non-continuous’ tyres, where one of the range of consecutive Pirelli compounds is omitted.

Drivers have reacted positively to the decision by Pirelli to provide a bigger step change across the tyres available to them at a Grand Prix.

  • Pirelli drops supersofts from German GP tyre line-up

The preceding Singapore Grand Prix will have the same line-up of tyres – hypers, ultras and softs – as Russia. The races before that in Germany and Hungary go a step harder with Pirelli providing ultras, softs and mediums.

Prior to that, only the Chinese Grand Prix had seen a ‘broken’ line-up of compounds – which was also the first time that the supersofts were dropped.

All drivers receive one set of each compound by default. After that, they get to choose how to make up the remaining 10 sets of tyres they are provided with for the race weekend.

Each driver must save one set of the softest rubber to use in the final round of qualifying, which is returned to them if they make it through to Q3. Drivers who are eliminated in the first two rounds get to hold on to the tyre for the race.

All drivers must used two different compounds during the race, unless it rains and drivers start on one of the wet weather tyres.

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