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Pirelli announces tyre colourings

Posted by Carrot on March 21, 2011 | No Comments

Last year Bridgestone used green stripes around the tyre wall to differentiate between option and prime, and wet and intermediate. Pirelli has announced that this year there will be no stripes, but instead different colour logo branding on the side walls to differentiate between all the tyres in its range. Each specification will have its own colour, instead of using Bridgestone’s policy of a single indicator to show the softer of the two compounds.

The colours are:

  • Hard – Silver
  • Medium – White
  • Soft – Yellow
  • Supersoft – Red


  • Intermediate – Light Blue
  • Wet – Orange

The immediate problem is that this scheme doesn’t make it easier for fans as it gives them more to learn and the colours aren’t exactly set out in a traditional order. While supersoft to soft to medium is fairly straight forward, washing out red to white, adding silver onto the end makes no logical sense. Neither does the colour for the wet specification of orange, which according to the traditional rainbow song would place them between supersoft and soft.

Another problem is visibility, although Pirelli have vowed to always ensure a one specification difference in the tyres offered at each track, for example hard and soft not hard and medium, this might not always remain the case for safety concerns due to degradation or temperature at certain tracks. Good luck differentiating a set of hard and medium tyres in poor light, or a set of long running wets when the tread has worn away with a set of softs.

My personal solution, and one I’ve been raving about ever since Bridgestone started putting indicators on their tyres to show different sets is to make the teams do it. Have each team paint the entire side wall of their softer tyres (the option choice and the wets) with a colour of their own choice. That way the colour will clear as it will cover the entire side of the tyre and will match the car and improve the aesthetics of the sport. I’d certainly love to see a McLaren with silver edged tyres and a Ferrari coming out of a corner on rosso corso edge rubber. Leave enough rubber to define the Pirelli logos and everybody wins, and it’s not like it’d be difficult for the stewards to police.

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