Pirelli confirms six different colours for tyres

2011 F1 season

Pirelli have confirmed the colours that will be used to distinguish between their tyres.

Unlike last year, each tyre will have its own specific colour.

The different colours will be applied to the logos on the sidewalls of the tyres:

Tyre Colour
Hard Silver
Medium White
Soft Yellow
Super-soft Red
Wet Orange
Intermediate Blue

Click the image above to see each different tyre.

According to Pirelli, “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.”

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 tyres

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115 comments on Pirelli confirms six different colours for tyres

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  1. verstappen said on 18th March 2011, 15:38

    silver – yellow might be a little hard. Do they actually maintain a step between the tyres?
    And I keep saying they should have their curved logo on the tyres.

  2. Carlos Santos said on 18th March 2011, 15:39

    Can’t decide whether I like it or not!

  3. DANK said on 18th March 2011, 15:41

    Other than the red super softs, the colours don’t really match the ‘personalities’, in my opinion
    Hard should be a darker colour, medium should be grey/silver
    Soft – orange
    Wet – green/blue
    Intermediate – yellow

    • Richard said on 18th March 2011, 16:28

      I disagree, there is more of a “risk” with the softer tyres and they dont last anywhere near as long. In my opinion the red/yellow symbolise “danger”, the white/silver symbolise “neutral/safe”. On screen you have to make the colours contrast as much possible, so red/yellow vs silver/white in theory should work.

      My only concern is from Wet to Soft/Super-soft, but I suppose they are more likely to go from Wet to Intermediate.

      • sato113 (@sato113) said on 18th March 2011, 17:06

        i agree. However the wet tyre compounds are weird, i understand the intermediate being blue but surely the full set tyre should be of a similar tone-

        like purple???

  4. KarlJMalone said on 18th March 2011, 15:41

    Interesting colour choice for Hard and Medium compounds… I think it may be difficult to tell white from silver in race conditions given sun glare and the speed at which cars are moving.

    • They wont use both at one race.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th March 2011, 16:22

      As OEL says, Pirelli have indicated they intend to bring tyres a stage apart so it shouldn’t be a problem.

    • King Six said on 18th March 2011, 16:24

      Ah, I was waiting for someone to make that amateur error in an attempt to put a downer on things. It didn’t take long, then.

      • I find it more of a downer when someone decides to become ‘Mr Patronising’.

      • The colour difference is still dumb though as if you start watching the race half way through and do not know what the other compound is you will still not know if the the is hard or medium. Needing context to determine the type is stupid when there are many other colours available.

        • But you can tell whether it is the harder or softer compound, the harder one always being silver or white over the yellow and red of the softer two compounts.

          Silver and white will never be raced together, neither will red and yellow.

  5. Silver and white might be a bit difficult to distinguish from one another.

    • Carlos Santos said on 18th March 2011, 15:46

      There won’t be Silver and white in the same GP, the two compounds won’t be consecutive. Or that rule as changed to 2011?

      • Carlos Santos said on 18th March 2011, 15:51

        although is a bit silly to have different colors if we can’t tell them

      • I don’t know if it’s a rule or just a policy Bridgestone applied but Pirelli will also only bring tyres more than a stage apart.

  6. Meander said on 18th March 2011, 15:51

    I actually agree on their match ups, only ones I would switch are wet and intermediate.

    Yellow and white are Pirelli’s main colors, so I understand that they put them in the middle. That way, there will always be one of them at every track.

    Red – soft, fast. Hard – durable, silver.

    Yeah, I get it :)

    • Bigbadderboom said on 18th March 2011, 17:15

      Yerah, I kind of get it, it’s just a mind set thing that we will become accustomed to by association. It may take 4 or 5 races but I think it will become intuitive to the fans. It may be another feature that the casual fan finds difficult to get to grips with though.

  7. Matthew said on 18th March 2011, 15:52

    Nice – I think that’s a great solution.

  8. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 18th March 2011, 15:53

    My only concern is that they will be difficult to spot when the car is moving. Its fine and looks great when the car is either stationary or is photographed, but because the line is not consistent, it might be difficult to see when they are moving.

    Regardless, its far better than Bridgestone’s effort

    • Aww c’mon Sam, Are you saying that for all those years during the 80’s and 90’s you couldn’t see the yellow blur that was the Goodyear Eagle logo when the car’s were moving at speed?

      I think tis is going to be great.

      Silver and white will rarely, if ever, be used at the same race, so there’s no problem there. The tire combinations will ususally be red-white or yellow-silver, and blue an orange are sufficiently different from each other and the other colours for use in the rain.

      • sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 18th March 2011, 17:38

        well its been a long time since the goodyears!

        Back then though, no one was looking at the tyres (as far as I remember, there were no differentiations between the softs and the hards)

    • It was easy enough to tell with Bridgestone and that was only a thin stripe so I don’t think this will be a problem.

  9. The problem with this is, how will you tell which is fitted from onboard? Or will the green stripe persist as well?

  10. Gucha said on 18th March 2011, 16:02

    And my favourite colour is… Orange.
    Let’s pray for an orange season!

  11. Fred Schechter said on 18th March 2011, 16:05

    So what’s it mean when we see plaid?
    Does that mean Jackie is on course?

  12. robk23 (@robk23) said on 18th March 2011, 16:17

    I would of thought that the two wet compounds didn’t need their own colours, as it’s easy to tell them apart from the the tread the wet and intermediate tyres have. This is probably to make the tyres easier to understand for casual fans though.

  13. eniQma said on 18th March 2011, 16:22

    hmm that remind me to Power Rangers…haha

    well nice idea from Pirelli

    hope we’ll see a lot of “colours” in F1 this year…

  14. King Six said on 18th March 2011, 16:26

    We’ll be seeing Silver and Yellow for most races anyway. What did they say they’re bringing to Australia?

  15. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th March 2011, 16:26

    I think this a good move from Pirelli. The old green sidewall system used by Bridgestone was flawed for many reasons: it was difficult to see in low light and on onboard cameras, it was tainted by accusations of ‘greenwash’, and it only helped you distinguish between ‘prime’ and ‘option’, rather than all four types of dry tyre.

    Assuming we can tell the difference between the tyres when they’re on the cars – and with HD that should be easier – this looks good all round to me.

    • And I could never remember which was which. Was the softer tyre ‘prime’, because it went faster, or was the harder tyre ‘prime’ because it lasted longer.

      Was the softer tyre the ‘option’ because it was the option you’d choose to go fast, or was the harder tyre the ‘option’ because it was the option you had to take for the longer stint.

      It always confused me.

      This way, the softer tyre will always be the colourful one, and the harder one will be the desaturated one.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th March 2011, 17:01

        Exaclty right, the softer tyre will be just the thing to spice it up and the harder just to take it safe and bring it home.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th March 2011, 16:38

      Fully agree Keith. This looks nice and it is really easy to see the different colours used on track.

      I would love to see how that silver shows up in pictures from low light Australia and even more from Singapore or Abu Dhabi under the floodlights. Just remember that glittery Vettel helmet last season.

      The Bridgestone greenstripe was just about the phoniest case of greenwash there is. And people kept asking what tyres were actually used for the “primes” and “options”.

      • I think for us geeks it’ll be better but I’m not sold on whether it will be for a casual viewer who may not remember what all the different colour codes are. It’s gerat for us as it is very specific though.

        • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 18th March 2011, 21:48

          I doubt the casual viewer will really give a hoot as to the difference in the compounds. I’m sure Brundle and Coulthard will make it easy for anyone receiving a UK signal though.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 18th March 2011, 23:52

            I actually liked Bridgestone’s system. It was very simple and as long as I knew if it was the option or the prime, I wasn’t concerned whether it was a medium, hard, soft or super-soft tyre. This should be good too, althought I don’t like the colours! :P

          • I think a casual viewer would want to know if they were switching from option to prime more than the specific compound which is why I think Bridgestone’s system was easier. Personally, I’ll prefer Pirelli (as long as the colours stand out) as it gives me more information but for others who aren’t as interested in F1 it might be difficult.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 19th March 2011, 14:43

            @Steph Yes, but it’s going to take me some time to get used to. So many colours! :P

  16. JackHammer92 said on 18th March 2011, 16:31

    The new system is good, but I do think it would be better if they had also painted a ring around each tyre with the colour to make the tyre choice clearer from more angles (T-cam for example)

  17. gabal said on 18th March 2011, 16:33

    I like it, it is going to be easier to distinguish between the compounds that way and the colours are different enough to be visibly different at full speed.

  18. Mads said on 18th March 2011, 16:46

    I like it. It seems like a good idea. Though i think that the ring the tyres had in 2010 were good too, to distinguish the soft from the hard compound. I would like that introduced as well, so the softest compound has a ring around the edges in the same colour as the writing, and then with the harder compound not having those stripes. I think that would be the easiest way to see what tyres they are on.

  19. antonyob said on 18th March 2011, 16:54

    Pirellis were always the school boys choice when i was a t’lad. Gripping stuff !

  20. I think the silver should be green but other than they they’re not bad.

    I’ll miss the green rings of Bridgestone but these will be far easier to identify.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th March 2011, 17:02

      I think the trouble with green is, in normal light it might be often mistaken for blue. And for colourblind people they cannot see weather it is red or green.

      • Maciek said on 18th March 2011, 17:34

        Ahh – thanks BasCB for acknowledging us colour-deficients : ) I’m glad they’ve chosen the colours they have, blue and green might indeed have been confusing for me!

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