Pirelli does not think fans will have difficulty understanding its expanded 2018 tyre range once they have seen the compounds in action.
F1's official tyre supplier has added two new dry tyres to either end of its range for 2018, a super-hard tyre (marked with ice blue colours on the wall) and a hyper-soft (marked with pink). The tyres differ to give teams different options at races: harder tyres will be slower over one lap, but more durable, while softer tyres are quicker over one lap but last less time in a race.
The unveiling of the two new tyres in Abu Dhabi last November was met with some criticism, with some suggesting Pirelli's colourful range, and the naming convention of each tyre, needlessly complicated tyres at a time F1 bosses are trying to make the sport more accessible to average viewers.
One popular solution which has circulated on social media in recent months is that Pirelli could instead name the three tyres it brings to each grand prix as hard, medium and soft, regardless of which of the seven compounds they actually are, but company sporting director Mario Isola does not think this would convey the right message.
"At the end of the season, with the new tyres, there was a lot of talking about 'ah Pirelli is generating confusion' -- this is not the target," Isola told ESPN. "I'm sorry if we are generating confusion but I'm sure that by half way through the season nobody will talk about that because everyone will know what we're doing. So it's just because it's new and whenever you change something people are not happy about it initially."
Isola thinks it is important that fans understand the complexities of tyres and why different circuits require different compounds.
"[Making it more understandable] is what we are trying to do. We are talking about colours but we are trying to explain to the people what we are doing... you could use three colours and use them everywhere at every circuit. You take white, yellow and red, call them hard, medium and soft, full-stop, finished. But you're not giving the right message to the people, you're giving the message you're using the same tyres everywhere but it's not true as you need different compounds in Monaco, in Silverstone, in Suzuka or in Monza.
"Using different colours is not because we want to generate more confusion because at the end of the day we will still have three different colours at each event. Fans will still have to keep in mind three colours for each event.
"We also have this approach for colder colours for harder compounds and warmer colours for softer compounds, so if you have yellow, red and pink you know pink is going to be softer than the yellow. But at least we give the right information that we had to develop different compounds for different circuits, because it depends on layout, weather conditions, tarmac roughness, there are a lot of facts we have to consider before selecting a compound. Otherwsie, three colours, three names, that is not the right message for Pirelli."