Tire Change: Pirelli Asked to Simplify F1 Tire Names and Colors
Formula 1’s tire supplier has been asked to just call its tires soft, medium, and hard, no matter what compounds it brings to a race.
It seems seven is not the magical number in Formula 1. At least not for the sport's owner Liberty Media and governing body FIA, which have asked tire supplier Pirelli to make things simpler for casual fans.
Pirelli's Formula 1 tire range currently boasts seven different slick, dry-weather compounds: hyper soft, ultra soft, super soft, soft, medium, hard and super hard. Per race, Pirelli nominates three compounds. It will, for example, bring hyper softs, ultra softs and softs, or softs, hards and super hards. This practice has now been deemed too confusing, however, with Pirelli asked to just refer to whichever three compounds it brings to a race as soft, medium and hard starting next season the firm's motorsports chief Mario Isola told Autosport.
The change of name comes with a change of color as well. Currently, each compound has its own distinct color label, hyper softs have pink writing on them, for instance, while softs feature yellow lettering. But the 'new' soft, medium, and hard will likely get fixed colors for every race, regardless of which type of tire they are underneath.
Pirelli will after all still select different sets of tires for different tracks, emphasized Isola. "Because you cannot use the same [three] compounds in Silverstone or Monaco." According to Isola, the company is currently expecting its range of 2019-slicks to feature "five or six" compounds. Should the plan get the green light, Pirelli will still communicate which tire is which ahead of every race. "We will tell you that for this race, the hard is B, the medium is D, and whatever."
The proposed rule change would see a kind of two-tiered understanding of and discussion about the tires in Formula 1, which seems to fit Liberty Media's agenda to make the sport more accessible on one hand, but offer hardcore fans more access and insight on the other. "For [casual] spectators it's probably more understandable, but you also have the possibility to go deeper in detail for technical information that we will continue to provide", said Isola of the change that is still being evaluated, with no deadline set for a decision.