Pirelli has confirmed it will use a new F1 tyre coding system from 2019 that sees its range of tyre compounds reduce from seven to three as teams choose from Hard, Medium and Soft compounds.
Pirelli currently offers teams three compounds to choose from at each race from a wider range of seven compounds, ranging from the softest Hypersoft tyre to the Superhard at the other end of the range.
The colour coded system has been seen as causing confusion and being too convoluted in the past, prompting Pirelli into a rethink for 2019 when it will use the same three compound names and colours at each race.
As of next season, teams will use Hard, Medium and Soft tyres at each race, which will be coloured white (the current Medium), yellow (currently Soft) and red (currently Supersoft) accordingly.
However, there will still be a wider range of five or six compounds for Pirelli to choose from, ranging from harder to softer tyres that will vary in choice depending on circuit characteristics. Pirelli will then assign three of these compounds – which will be defined either by numbers or letters – to be the Hard, Medium and Soft tyre for each race weekend.
Drivers will get their first taste of Pirelli’s full 2019 tyre range at the post-season test in Abu Dhabi next month, with the tyre selections for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix then set to be locked in soon after due to the long lead-up time required.
Pirelli will enter the final year of its existing F1 tyre contract in 2019, and is going up against Hankook for the new tender that runs from 2020 to 2023.
So what this means is that we can finally wave goodbye to hypersofts, ultrasofts, supersofts and superhards. It would have been quite confusing to keep track of all the different combinations.