By Jamie Klein
Super Formula will switch to using a single dry tyre compound for the 2020 season, Motorsport.com has learned.
Previously, Japan’s premier single-seater series made use of a medium tyre and a soft, with drivers having to use both types of rubber in a dry race.
However, the medium was widely condemned for being too stiff and drivers often lost between one and two seconds a lap using it compared to those on the soft.
As such, the medium has been axed for 2020 and only the soft will be in use this season.
It’s believed that sole tyre supplier Yokohama had been developing a new, softer compound for the upcoming campaign but ran out of time develop it fully.
Although the existing soft has proven durable enough to be used for an entire race distance, a mandatory pitstop rule is likely to be enforced to create variations in strategy.
It would follow the introduction of a pitstop window rule last year that was designed to eliminate the practice of drivers changing tyres at the end of the first lap to minimise time spent on the medium.
Super Formula last relied on a single dry compound in 2017, when the entire field ran exclusively on medium tyres.
Another change expected for the 2020 season is that the top 14 drivers will progress from Q1 to Q2 in qualifying, up from 12 last year. Q3 will continue to feature the fastest eight drivers from Q2.
Super Formula set to switch to single dry tyre in 2020