Date: 20th March 2011 at 11:01am
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Italian tyre manufacturers Pirelli have announced that every new tyre compound will be colour coded for the 2011 season.

Pirelli replace Bridgestone for the new season and have worked to develop new types of tyres that are set to change the style of races in Formula One this season.

Despite regulations stating that two different types of compound had to be used by drivers last season, the Bridgestone tyre simply lasted too long, with no significant drop off in lap time, which led to many drivers sticking to long conservative stints on their tyres and completing a race with just one pit stop.

To combat this, Pirelli were tasked with designing tyres with higher degradation for 2011, forcing teams into pit strategies that could include two, three or even four pit stops during the race.

Using two different compounds of tyre will also remain in the regulations and Pirelli in a move to make a more pronounced difference between the prime and option tyres, will jump at least one step for each race, for example in the opening three races of the season the tyres on offer will be the hard and soft compounds, with Super soft and Medium unavailable.

At other races during the season Pirelli could name the Super soft and Medium as the prime and option tyres for a race weekend or could even take Super soft and Hard tyres, depending on the track.

For the benefit of the spectators at the track and the television audiences each compound will have it’s own colour coding on the Pirelli and PZero logos which appear on the sidewalls of the tyre.

The six colours are as follows:

Wet – orange

Intermediate – light blue

Super soft – red

Soft – yellow

Medium – white

Hard – silver

‘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’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said to the BBC.

Describing the benefits of each tyre compound he added: ‘The wet tyre is used in case of heavy rain, while the intermediate is for a damp or drying track.

‘The super-soft 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.’


The new Pirelli tyres have been a big talking point throughout the winter testing amongst the teams and drivers.

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