MILAN, Italy—Formula 1 racing's move in 2016 to having three tire options per race instead of two meant Pirelli Competizioni had to increase its supply of F1 race tires by 19 percent over 2015.
Pirelli supplied nearly 42,800 tires to F1 teams throughout 2016, but just more than half of them—22,500—were actually used, meaning more than 20,000 race tires went unused, according to statistics released at season's end by Pirelli.
This oddity relates to the nature of F1 racing—because of the sport's knock-out qualifying procedures, the need to supply wet weather tires regardless of weather and cars that didn't finish races meant 47 percent of tires supplied were not used.
Of the 14,604 wet-weather tires supplied, just 1,808—or 12.4 percent—were used, Pirelli's figures show. All the tires, both those used and unused, were recycled, Pirelli said.
Another revealing statistic: on average, each tire actually used on race weekends ran for less than 50 miles. F1 races typically run 200 miles, but in qualifying some tires are used for just a couple of laps.
Formula 1's sanctioning body, the Federation International de l'Automobile, authorized the use of three tire options this year, which resulted in the ultrasoft compound option, Pirelli said.
"This extra tactical intrigue proved to be a highlight of the year," Pirelli Motorsports Director Paul Hembery said.
For 2017 thetire regulations change again, forcing Pirelli to redesign the entire F1 tire range, making them 25-percent wider. To date, three teams—Scuderia Ferrari, Red Bull Racing and Mercedes AMG Petronas—have conducted 24 days of testing covering 7,530 miles and using 96 tires.
Other nuggets of information released by Pirelli: the company's hospitality unit served 15,600 meals, including 420 pizzas, 2,000 pounds of pasta and 30,000 cups of coffee.