Pirelli insists fans won't be confused by expanded compound range

For 2018, Pirelli has expanded its compound range to seven, and while all five previous compounds are softer than their 2017 counterparts, a new hypersoft has been introduced along with a superhard.

Ignoring the fact than in 2017 the (then) hardest compound never appeared again after Spain, many are not only wondering why the range has been expanded, but why the various names have been adopted, claiming that it will only confuse fans.

Indeed, some insist the names alone will confuse, claiming that fans would have preferred a simpler grading system such as 1, 2, 3… or A, B, C…, or even hard, medium and soft for each event, while others remain convinced that more fan-friendly names such as Squidgy or Squelchy McSquelchyface should have been adopted.

Speaking to ESPN, Mario Isola, insists fans will not be left confused.

“At the end of the season, with the new tyres, there was a lot of talking about ‘ah Pirelli is generating confusion’, this is not the target,” he said. “I’m sorry if we are generating confusion but I’m sure that by half way through the season nobody will talk about that because everyone will know what we’re doing.

“So it’s just because it’s new and whenever you change something people are not happy about it initially.

“Making it more understandable is what we are trying to do,” he insists. “We are talking about colours but we are trying to explain to the people what we are doing… you could use three colours and use them everywhere at every circuit. You take white, yellow and red, call them hard, medium and soft, full-stop, finished. But you’re not giving the right message to the people, you’re giving the message you’re using the same tyres everywhere but it’s not true as you need different compounds in Monaco, in Silverstone, in Suzuka or in Monza.

“Using different colours is not because we want to generate more confusion because at the end of the day we will still have three different colours at each event. Fans will still have to keep in mind three colours for each event.

“We also have this approach for colder colours for harder compounds and warmer colours for softer compounds, so if you have yellow, red and pink you know pink is going to be softer than the yellow. But at least we give the right information that we had to develop different compounds for different circuits, because it depends on layout, weather conditions, tarmac roughness, there are a lot of facts we have to consider before selecting a compound. Otherwise, three colours, three names, that is not the right message for Pirelli.”