Pirelli expects tire naming change in 2019

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Pirelli expects tire naming change in 2019

Formula 1

Pirelli expects tire naming change in 2019

Pirelli motorsport boss Mario Isola says it is not possible to change the naming system for its tire compounds this season but such a move is likely to happen in 2019.

At present, Pirelli has a range of seven different tire compounds — superhard, hard, medium, soft, supersoft, ultrasoft and hypersoft — of which three are nominated for each race weekend. In Monaco, the supersoft, ultrasoft and hypersoft were used, with relatively close colored branding of red, purple and pink, respectively.

Due to the expansion to seven different compounds — in order to tailor selections to different circuits — the naming system has become increasingly complex, and Isola says a change is in the pipeline for next season.

“Not this year because this year is almost impossible to change the approach considering with the overseas events we have to nominate the selected compounds before some European events, so for production it’s not manageable,” he explained. “And also for us and for spectators [it would be confusing], I believe.

“But next year we have discussions with the FIA and FOM. We understand that for some spectators it’s difficult to identify the six or seven compounds we have in the range. What is important is that we don’t lose the message that we are not going into different races with the same compounds.

“So we are happy to call them hard, medium and soft and to define three colors and use the same colors and names at all the races, but then we need to find a way to make a correspondence between the name ‘hard’ and which compound it is that we use.

“Because I believe that some spectators who are more technical like to go deeper in detail and they want to know what we are using. If it is compound A, B or C — I don’t know if we will use letters or numbers, it is still in discussion.

“But the first check was the visibility with the production and the logistics and this is possible — we already made it — so if the desire of Formula 1 is to go in this direction we are happy to follow this request.”

The hypersoft and superhard compounds were only introduced this season, with the former making its debut in Monaco and the latter homologated as a back-up tire if required.

–Chris Medland

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