Formula 1

Pirelli Asked to Rename Tyre Options Soft, Medium and Hard for Race Weekends

2 Mins read
Pirelli tyres in a stack
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Pirelli have been asked to simplify the names of tyres for race weekends, with Formula 1 preferring to opt for a Hard, Medium and Soft tyre for each weekend.

There are currently six dry-weather tyres in Pirelli’s catalog, with four “soft” tyres in their line-up – the Soft, Super Soft, Ultra Soft, and the newly added Hyper Soft tyre – along with the medium and hard options.

Rather than reducing the number of tyre options available, the request aims to provide more information to fans based on the tyres’ relationships to each other.

So if, for example, Pirelli brought a Soft, a Super Soft and an Ultra Soft tyre to a race weekend, the Soft – the hardest of the three – would be the Hard tyre, the Super Soft would become the Medium and the Ultra Soft – the softest of the three – would be the Soft option.

To clarify which compound teams are using and give additional information to fans that want it, a graded letter system could be used.

Providing more background on the request, Pirelli’s¬†Mario Isola said that the current colours could also be dropped, in favour of keeping consistent colours for the hard, medium and soft options at races, and that it would be more “understandable” for spectators.

We had a request from FOM and FIA to just call them hard, medium and soft,” said Isola.

“With three colours, the same colours and same names for all the races, but obviously different compounds, because you cannot use the same compounds in Silverstone or Monaco.”

“On a second level we will have compound A, B, C, D, E, F or whatever, and we will tell you that for this race, the hard is B, the medium is D, and whatever.

“So for 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.”

Since their purchase of the sport Liberty Media (owners of FOM) have been making a concerted effort to make Formula 1 more accessible to new and casual fans, including putting unprecedented amounts of content online, starting a streaming service and including messages during broadcasts about what different colour flags mean. This, it would seem, is another effort to simplify aspects of the sport to make it easier for new fans to enjoy, whilst using the letters system to maintain the technical knowledge for existing and knowledgeable fans.

Speaking on when this new system could come into effect, Isola said it was an “ongoing discussion“, however it’s not something that would be “a big issue” for the supplier.

“It’s an on ongoing discussion, but we said we are available to evaluate this change.

“I made a check with production and logistics, obviously we need to understand all the implications.

“We produce a specific batch for each race, to be sure that they all come from the same batch, so honestly to put a purple label or a yellow label or any other colour is not a big issue.

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