Pirelli announce ultra-softs for Spa as hard tyre discarded

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Formula 1 drivers will be able to use Pirelli's softest compound around the high-speed sweeps of Spa-Francorchamps in August after the Italian supplier confirmed their choices for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Last year there was some surprise when the super-soft tyre was allocated for Spa with uncharacteristically hot and sunny weather in the Ardennes Forest that weekend making strategies very difficult.

With this year's tyres a step harder on each compound, last year's super-soft effectively became this year's ultra-soft explaining the decision the purple-marked rubber will be used.

The 2017 cars are expected to produce potentially the fastest times ever seen at the legendary venue, with Eau Rouge likely to be very easy flat and sections such as Pouhon, Fagner and Stavelot all likely to be much faster than a year ago.

Now with the use of the softest compounds available, the cornering speeds will only increase further.

Pirelli has come in for criticism this year for the hardness of their tyre compounds. In Baku, racing manager Mario Isola blamed a lack of knowledge for the decision to not take the ultra-soft tyre to the street circuit.

They have also hit back at some teams suggesting they supplied expected downforce figures much higher than has actually been seen and this has been the reason for the conservative approach both with compounds and tyre pressures.

What is now almost certain, however, is the orange-marked hard tyre, which has only been seen in Spain so far, will be discarded for the rest of the year.

That can be assumed after the super-soft, soft and medium tyre selection was made for both the final F1 race in Malaysia at Sepang and the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, both of which have seen the hardest compounds used each year.

Also, only the Italian, United States, Mexican, Brazilian and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix remain as unknowns at this point, with none of the five races expected to require a more conservative approach than recent years.