MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- Confusion over whether a hyper-soft tyre is a softer compound than an ultra-soft looks set to end next year as Pirelli prepares itself to adopt a simple soft, medium and hard naming system at each race.
Pirelli currently has seven different compounds to choose from over the course of a season and selects three for each race. The compounds are named hyper-soft, ultra-soft, super-soft, soft, medium, hard and super-hard and each features a different colour of writing on the sidewall.
The plan is to keep a wide range of compounds, but simplify the naming system so that the hardest tyre at any given weekend is called the hard, the middle compound is called the medium and the softest, the soft. Three colours would be used throughout the season to correspond with the naming system and details of exactly which compound is being used would be made available to those that are interested.
"We had a request from FOM and also the FIA to just call them hard, medium and soft, with three colours," Pirelli racing director Mario Isola explained. "It would be the same colours and same names for all the races.
"Obviously they would be different compounds because we cannot use the same compounds for Silverstone, Monaco and Suzuka. So the idea is to have three names, three colours and let's say on a second level we have compound A, B, C, D, F or whatever, and we will tell you that for this race the Hard tyre is B and the Medium is D and whatever.
"For spectators it is probably more understandable but we have also the possibility to go deeper in detail for technical information that we will continue to provide."
The change has not been approved yet, but Pirelli sees no reason not to go ahead with the idea if it is better for fans.
"It is an ongoing discussion but we said we are available to evaluate this change," Isola added. "I made a check with the logistics, obviously we need to understand all the implications but it is feasible. We produce a specific batch of tyres for each race to be sure that we have all the tyres coming from the same batch of production, all the same and so on.
"So honestly to put a purple label, or a yellow label, or any other colour is not a big issue. It's a possibility. Both the requests were coming from the FOM and FIA."