AUSTIN, Texas -- Pirelli has confirmed the colour scheme that will accompany its simplification of the names of its Formula One tyres in 2019.
Pirelli has a range of tyres that it produces for every race, with three brought to every race depending on the characteristic of the circuit in question. In the simplest terms, the hardest tyre in the range will be the most durable but offer the lowest level of performance, while the softest in the range will deliver peak performance but also encounter a quick drop-off in terms of durability.
Pirelli's current convention has seven different names for each compound, marked with a different colour on the tyre wall. Those seven are hard (orange), medium (white), soft (yellow), super-soft (red), ultra-soft (purple) and hyper-soft (pink). That system has meant that at some races the soft tyre has actually been the hardest tyre available to teams at some weekends, which F1 felt was unnecessarily confusing for spectators.
It was asked to simplify the names earlier this year and it has done so: from 2019, every race will feature three compounds -- hard, medium and soft -- regardless of which ones they actually are. On Friday at the Circuit of the Americas the Italian manufacturer confirmed those will be designated by white, yellow and red next season.
Teams, media and fans will still be told in advance which compound is actually being taken to each race. Pirelli is working on a separate naming convention or code to refer to these, although this will not be shown in any way on the side-wall of the tyre.
"The idea is to give a number to each compound," he said. "We are currently discussing that, because I've had a chat now with the engineers -- they prefer a letter for the system.
"But basically we will have a clear identification of each compound. So if we are going to homologate five compounds, there will be one, two, three, four, five, and we give you the information in advance, so you know that for this race the hard is number two, the medium is three, the soft is four so you can compare at different circuits. But for spectators there will be three colours."
Pirelli is currently undecided on whether the current naming convention and colour scheme will remain in place for pre-season testing ahead of 2019.