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Pirelli sure fans won't be confused by expanded F1 tyre range

Written by  Jan 12, 2018

Pirelli sporting director Mario Isola has played down concerns the introduction of a wider tyre range for the 2018 Formula 1 season will add confusion for fans watching.

Last season, the Italian supplier was more conservative with their compounds as the sport introduced faster cars with greater downforce as well as widening the width of the tyres, however, the result was most races becoming easy one-stop strategies and less variation in lap times across a stint.

To enable drivers to continue pushing harder, Pirelli has only moved one step softer with the rubber, for instance, this season's supersoft will be last year's ultrasoft, but they have also produced two new compounds, the hypersoft and the superhard.

“I know that there were some criticisms around this choice to increase the number of compounds,” Isola told F1 Fanatic.

“I believe that with the additional compounds we have more flexibility and the opportunity to make a better selection in order to have the all the three compounds suitable for the race.

“The target is to have a bit more degradation to try to target two stops and different strategies.”

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Only three types of slick tyre will continue to be brought to each event, with the announcement on Thursday of the ultrasoft, supersoft and soft rubber being used for the fourth race of the season in Baku, and because that is not a change in the regulation, Pirelli believe it shouldn't impact the understanding of the viewer.

Their chief also believes it is correct that the tyre supplier should increase the knowledge of the fanbase by not simplifying the compounds to simply soft, medium and hard.

"We are not giving the right message because it looks like we are using the same compound for each event,” Isola said. “We want to explain to the spectators that in Monaco you need softer compounds and in Silverstone, you need harder compounds.”

Finally, he believes the fans do have a genuine interest in the thinking behind certain tyre choices and the individual compounds.

“It’s positive in a way because they’re talking about tyres,” Mario added. “Look at the example of the name of the hyper-soft, it’s incredible.”

“I wanted ‘mega-soft’, unfortunately, the spectators voted for ‘hyper’ so we have to respect their vote. Anyway, we had half a million interactions for the name of the tyre. It’s a huge number, it means they are interested.”

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