Latest news:

Pirelli shows its colours heading to Australia

By Pirelli
March 18 2011

Italian firm Pirelli, embarking on the first season of a three-year agreement to supply Formula One with tyres, has revealed the colours that will be used to distinguish the six different types of tyre that will be used throughout the season.

In order to tell the six tyres apart, each will carry its own distinct colouring on the Pirelli and PZero logos affixed to the sidewall. Under the sport’s rules, only two compounds of slick tyre – known as the prime and the option – will be used for each race. In addition to this, intermediate and wet tyres can be fitted if it rains.

The colours reflect the unique personality of each tyre, enabling viewers to tell instantly not only which is the prime and the option tyre, but also exactly which type of tyre is fitted to each car.

The six colours are as follows:

Wet – orange
Intermediate – light blue
Supersoft – red
Soft – yellow
Medium – white
Hard – silver

Pirelli group

The wet tyre is used in case of heavy rain, while the intermediate is for a damp or drying track. The supersoft provides plenty of speed at the expense of durability, while the soft tyre lasts a bit longer but is still more biased towards performance. The medium tyre is a balanced compromise, while the hard tyre is the most durable of all. Seeing how the teams use the different characteristics of these tyres as part of their strategy will provide a vivid spectacle this year, designed to please the crowds.

In order to make the differences between the prime and option tyre more pronounced Pirelli’s strategy is to offer a step of at least one compound between the tyres nominated for each race. If the track conditions require it though, this strategy may be revised.

The prime and option tyres for the first three grands prix of the year – Australia, Malaysia and China – will be hard and soft compounds, meaning that silver and yellow tyres will be first to make an appearance in Melbourne.

Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery said: “We’re very excited by the prospect of returning to Formula One for the first time in 20 years, and we’re aiming to be a proactive and colourful partner in Formula One. So what better way to symbolise this than a brightly coloured selection of Pirelli logos to run on the sidewalls? These will enable both live and television audiences to tell at a glance who is on what compounds, which will be vital knowledge as tyres are set to form a key part of race strategy this year.”

Pirelli is no stranger to brightly-coloured tyres: when the Italian firm was previously involved in Formula One, the Benetton team was supplied with multi-coloured rubber to run as part of their ‘United Colors’ campaign back in 1986.

View a Printer Friendly version of this Story.

Bookmark or share this story with:

Pirelli shows its colours heading to Australia
Discussion started by Racing Bulls , 18/03/2011 16:37
Racing Bulls
18/03/2011 16:37
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.

18/03/2011 21:45
Like it with the exception of the hard and medium, Grey and white may look much alike.
We'll see.


19/03/2011 00:25
Yah, green would have been a better choice.

"When you talk, you are repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new." - Dalai Lama

19/03/2011 04:27
If there's a step between the compounds at each race then it won't be a problem. - My solution to F1's 'bore' problem.

19/03/2011 09:50
Yep - AS LH says, we should only see Red & White or Yellow & Silver at dry races.

sir bob
19/03/2011 10:29
I think it's a bit over-the-top to be honest.

What's important is whether a driver is on the softer or the harder tyre. Not the specific compound they are on. If a hardcore race fan really cares about these details, they'll be looking it up before the race anyway.

For the casual fan, they might tune in and forget which colour means harder and which means softer. A simple stripe like bridgestone did made it straight forward and clear.

I guess it's easier for Pirelli if they don't have to keep changing the colours on tyres between races.

As the article says, the gap between compounds is open to revision. In this case you won't be able to tell the difference between the white and silver tyres, and people will easily forget which compounds the red and yellow tyres are.

19/03/2011 10:59
Incredibly Ferrari has announced that under their strict corporate branding guidelines, they will only be using the Supersoft and Medium tyres this season!

I like the use of different colours for tyres. Will take some of the guesswork out of qualifying form etc.

Your Name: 
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing