Pirelli confirms new naming system for 2019 F1 tyres
Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola has confirmed that Formula 1 will use just the hard, medium and soft compound names for its tyres in 2019.
Earlier this season, the FIA and F1 asked Pirelli if it was possible to simplify the naming system, so that on a given weekend the hardest compound – which might be the hard, medium, soft or supersoft – would be just be known as the hard, and so on.
Subsequently, that system has been formally incorporated into the FIA tyre tender which covers the 2020 to 2023 seasons, the first of which will be run with current sizes.
In the meantime Pirelli has done its homework on whether the system can be fast-tracked into use for 2019, and it has now agreed that it can, although details like sidewall colours have not been finalised.
"That is the plan," Isola said. "I can confirm that I made all the investigation within the company to understand if it is feasible, because obviously there is an implication with the production, logistics, how we manage the tyres, and marketing as well.
"I made an investigation with all the departments to make sure we're not doing something wrong. I confirmed that it's feasible. Obviously we need to make some work around it.
"The three names are clear – hard, medium and soft – but the three colours are still under discussion.
"It was a request coming from F1 and the FIA, and we made the necessary changes in order to achieve that for 2019. The next step is to define the colours, and to announce officially that we are going in that direction."
Pirelli will still let fans and media know what the "real" compounds are as they change from race to race.
"The other open points are that we need to give a name to the compounds to give you the information on which are the real compounds that we are using, and how we manage the tests, because at the tests all the compounds are available, because we need to understand how to paint the sidewalls at the test.
"During the pre-season test I can imagine that there will be some confusion! But hopefully we can fix it with races, where we have the three compounds. It is a complete change of approach compared to the past."
Many teams already use simplified phraseology internally that pre-dates the super/ultra era, as evidenced by team radio conversations.
"They are still talking about prime, option and qualy, so it's something that's coming probably from 15 years ago! We cannot change this, but now we have hard, medium and soft, maybe they can use these names."
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