Pirelli has announced its new 2018 racing slick tire range for Formula 1, which includes two new tire compounds as well as a rainbow of new colors.
The tires, announced ahead of the final Grand Prix of 2017, will be one step softer than the previous generation. The lineup includes the new tires P Zero Pink hypersoft, which will be used in races where maximum grip is required, and the superhard tire, featured in orange. Pirelli’s hard tires will now be ice blue.
In total, there will now be seven slick Pirelli P Zero tire compounds. Combined with the new Cinturato intermediate and wet tires, this expands the 2018 range to nine brightly colored Pirelli tires. All tire compounds and constructions have been redesigned, in keeping with Pirelli’s philosophy of renewing the range every year since the Italian firm returned to Formula 1 in 2011.
There are new working ranges across the entire Pirelli tire family as well, which together with the increased number of tire compounds, will allow tire nominations in 2018 that are more specifically suited to each race. For Pirelli and the Formula 1 teams, this also means that there can be more flexibility and variation in the tire choices, leading to extra opportunities when it comes to formulating creative race strategies.
“Compared to this year, when the tires grew by 25% to fit a brand-new generation of cars, the changes for next year are not as extensive,” said Mario Isola, Pirelli’s Head of Car Racing. “However, we’re pleased to present some important innovations with softer and faster tire compounds across the range: including the new hypersoft tire. We realized in the unique circumstances this year that some of our 2017 compounds were perhaps conservative: the tires we have created for 2018 addresses this, in line with the objective of having around two pit stops at most races. However, our fundamental tire design concepts haven’t changed for next year, preserving the attributes that all drivers appreciated this year that allowed them to push hard from start to finish in each stint. The new range consists of faster tires that should lead to even harder, more spectacular racing in 2018.”
Following a two-day test in Abu Dhabi, drivers will have the chance to sample the 2018 tires on next season’s cars for the first time during the two official four-day pre-season tests in Barcelona in early 2018.