Pirelli to simplify F1 tyre names to hard, medium and soft for 2019

Pirelli Formula 1 boss Mario Isola has confirmed that F1 tyres will only use the hard, medium and soft compound names in 2019

Pirelli to simplify F1 tyre names to hard, medium and soft for 2019

Earlier this season F1 and the FIA asked Pirelli if it was possible to simplify the naming system, so that on a given weekend the hardest compound - which could be the hard, medium, soft or supersoft - would be just be known as the hard, and so on.

That system has subsequently been formally incorporated into the FIA tyre tender that covers the 2020-23 seasons, the first of which will be run with current sizes.

Pirelli evaluated whether the system could be fast-tracked in for 2019 and has now agreed that it can, although details like sidewall colours have not been finalised.

It means that the supersoft, ultrasoft and hypersoft names will disappear.

Asked by Autosport if compound names would be simplified for 2019, Isola said: "That is the plan.

"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," said Isola.

"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 era of a broader range of tyres, as evidenced by team radio conversations.

"They are still talking about prime, option and qualifying [tyres], so it's something that's coming probably from 15 years ago!" said Isola.

"We cannot change this, but now we have hard, medium and soft, maybe they can use these names."

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Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper
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