Tyres, Yas Marina, 2017

Pirelli adds two new tyre compounds for 2018: ‘super hard’ and ‘hypersoft’

2018 F1 season

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Pirelli will add two new tyres to its range for the 2018 F1 season, increasing the number of dry-weather tyres available from five to seven.

The new softest tyre will be called ‘hypersoft’. The name won an online poll of fans in which 62% chosen it over two alternatives: ‘megasoft’ and ‘extremesoft’. Pirelli has previously announced the hypersoft will be coloured pink for identification.

Formula One’s official tyre supplier will also add a new harder tyre named the ‘super hard’ next year. It will take on the orange colouring used by the current hard tyre.

The hard tyre will be coloured ‘ice blue’ according to Pirelli. All the other tyres in their range will remain unchanged including the wet tyre, which is also blue.

Although the appearance of some tyres remains unchanged, Pirelli says the compounds, constructors and working rangers for the tyres have been revised. The tyre manufacture received some criticism this year for the hardness of its tyres. Its hardet compound was only nominated for the Spanish Grand Prix and was not used by any drivers during the race.

“We realised that, under the unique circumstances of this year, some of our 2017 compounds were perhaps conservative,” Pirelli’s head of car racing Mario Isola admitted.

“The tyres we have created for 2018 addresses this, in line with the objective of having around two pit stops at most races.”

“However, the fundamental design concept of the tyres hasn’t changed next year, preserving the attributes that all drivers have appreciated this year and allowing them to push hard from the start to the finish of each stint. The new range consists of faster tyres that should lead to even harder and more spectacular racing in 2018.”

The full range of tyres and colours for 2018 are as follows:

TyreColour
Super hardOrange
HardBlue
MediumWhite
SoftYellow
SupersoftRed
UltrasoftPurple
HypersoftPink
IntermediateGreen
WetBlue

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 97 comments on “Pirelli adds two new tyre compounds for 2018: ‘super hard’ and ‘hypersoft’”

    1. This is idiotic. ZERO race laps on the hard. Let’s add an another harder tyre.

      1. @hahostolze
        fyi, the article continues under the bold blue text.

        Although the appearance of some tyres remains unchanged, Pirelli says the compounds, constructors and working rangers for the tyres have been revised. The tyre manufacture received some criticism this year for the hardness of its tyres. Its hardet compound was only nominated for the Spanish Grand Prix and was not used by any drivers during the race.

        “We realised that, under the unique circumstances of this year, some of our 2017 compounds were perhaps conservative,” Pirelli’s head of car racing Mario Isola admitted.

        “The tyres we have created for 2018 addresses this, in line with the objective of having around two pit stops at most races.”

      2. 2019 = Extreme Hard and Bubble gum soft
        2020 = Diamond Hard and Erasers Soft

        1. 2021 = Adamantium Hard and Damn-Near-Liquid Soft

          1. Cool one!

          2. Man I cant top admantium…

      3. Agree, this is completely idiotic despite their intentions. Having SEVEN compounds with increasingly silly names is undermined by the fact teams cannot choose from the entire pool of said compounds. If at any given time teams can choose only from three compounds, you only need THREE names for them. It’s as simple as that. Essentially it’s still meant to be Hard/Medium/Soft for every race despite shifting grades of softness.

        1. @zimkazimka I am just glad that they went with hypersoft, because that sounds in line with ultra and super. Megasoft andt extremesoft just sound silly

    2. What should be done with the tyres is not what is being done. Pirelli should bring two compounds of tyres every race. Call one ‘Hard’ and the other ‘Soft’. Let the teams figure out their strategy. And, as usual, we must allow for some silliness, so make both compulsory to use in the race. Simple and convenient.

      1. Totally agree. We need not know about hards and mediums and softs and whatnot. Bring two, call them soft and hard. Whatever compound they really are underneath, the teams will know. They can just be labelled “Compund 1” through “Compound 7” alongside inters and full wets.

        If Pirelli brings compounds 3 (Supersoft) and 5 (Medium) to a race, call them Soft (Supersoft) and Hard (Medium)

      2. Actually I would find it interesting to let the team chose whatever tyre they want to get for every race… Completely free choice and remove the mandatory pit stop and use 2 tyres compounds.

        We don’t need 7 tyres type for that but it would show that only one or a few compounds are really needed and Pirelli could focus on developing those and get rid of the rest… And perhaps that we could have cars with various properties since they are working differently in their tyre. Wouldn’t be bad for the race.

      3. This is how they do it in Indycar

      4. guys, i am superhard for this idea

        1. “… and Vettel, who currently has the super hard on, is cumming into the pits for full wets!”

          1. david coulthard’s best/worst commentary: “and vettel’s coming into a wet box. it’s slippery down there…” – he actually said that.

      5. Been saying this for years!! The mess around this issue exemplifies the muddled thinking at FIA/FOM in recent times. At each race there should only be one designated harder/softer compound (and, if you must, medium). For easiest identification you would paint the softs red, and just leave the hards black. So much unnecessary and frustrating complication in F1!!

      6. I agree with what @jeanrien says here. I think that first of all, Pirelli now know far more of what the cars can do. Maybe the super hard will be about the same hardness as this year’s hard (or likely slightly below that even?), and going softer compounds and having more types means smaller steps between the tyres, and that mean every team can pick more closely what fits their cars.

        So ideally we would have say a MErcedes picking a Super hard, a medium and a supersoft for a weekend while Ferrari pick medium, extra and hypersoft and Red Bull run the Hard, supersoft and hypersoft, making every car behave at the best it can but also giving variation in the tyres.
        Or it will mean that Pirelli can pick the set that they offer to teams to better fit the actual tracks, so we will have more variation between the races and we will have less times where one (or two) of the compounds really doesn’t fit the track much at all.

    3. 7 dry weather tires? in 1955 each race would have had it’s own tire but seriously why? Would anybody really be able to tell the difference between 2 compounds that are next to each other?

      1. It’s not for us, its for the teams. Each team can pick the tyre that suits them which means more variations.

        1. …except they can’t. Pirelli nominates three different dry compounds for each race, and that’s what teams can pick.

          1. not from next year, teams are free to bring whatever tyres they want for race.

    4. How can we remember those seven colors? In my opinion those tires shall call: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or A, B, C, D,.. (like in the past), instead of pinky, reddy or blacky. Simply is good. Simply is easy to remember. If you remember it’s quite big chance that you understand it. If you understand, there’s a chance you like it.
      BTW: Forza Kubica!!!!!

      1. Remembering we can, eventually, do but telling them apart will be hard. If hard is now blue, what will full wet be? or im sure it’ll be hard to tell apart pink and purple. ok we probably wont see them in the same race but still…

      2. You only have to memorise three each race weekend and not worry about the rest.

      3. I wholeheartedly support the idea of giving the tyre compounds a number from 1-7.

        If nothing else, we’ll be able to have a bit of a giggle about Kimi coming into the pits for a number 2.

        1. I agree wholeheartedly with the numerical designation, but the new pink super flaccid would have to be a -1 or a -2 depending on what year the numbering started.

      4. Numbers are a disaster waiting to happen. Try giving your children numbers for names and you will see what I mean.

    5. LOL, the name choices.

      1. David (@billyboltaction)
        23rd November 2017, 15:56

        I wish they’d called new hard tyre the “Well’Ard”

      2. Certainly sounds like a sexual metaphor to me. Could even start some playful banter by adding in full wets to the conversation

    6. Drop two compounds, as there are too many now. Where would the teams possibly want to use the super hard and the hards? As long as there is a mandatory tyre change, these do not seem very useful.
      I dislike “Hypersoft” as the naming is confusing. Which one would be softer, an ultrasoft or hypersoft?

      1. They don’t have a choice between hard and super hard. I think the choices available have to be 2 compounds apart so its super hard and medium or hard and sort.

    7. Pirelli to introduce the Ultrahard and Hyperhard for 2019 then.

      1. Co-sponsor: Viagra

        1. And Durex for Soft compounds.

    8. Three choices: soft, Medium, hard. Red, yellow and white or something like that. The compound can vary according to the track characteristics but we fans only see three. It is easy to follow for everyone. Stick with the two compounds to use during the race. Simple and Easy. No need for a gazillion compounds with a million colours.

      1. We already have more friendly terms for fans, prime and option. We probably will hear those used by commentators a bit more this year.

    9. Nick (@theawesomefish)
      23rd November 2017, 13:09

      a) What colour will Wet tyres be, if Hard tyres are now blue?

      b) This all seems a bit pointless, in my view. Especially the Super Hard, considering the Hard tyre was only available in Spain this year, and not a single driver used them in the race. Why would you need a tyre that was slower than one nobody used, if you want to keep mandating at least one pit stop during the race?

      I reckon the Hypersoft will likely fill the role of “qualifying” tyre on the occasions we do see it, but I doubt it’ll be anywhere near durable enough to last even a dozen laps in the race, with the possible exception of Monaco. Maybe Verstappen can slap them on a few laps from home elsewhere and net himself a Fastest Lap with them.

      1. The wets will still be blue…

      2. Hards will be light blue, wets a darker blue

    10. Give drivers 2 sets of each compound at the start of the race weekend and let them work out the best way to use them.

      1. Good idea,@emu55.
        Would be interesting to watch the teams approach finding the best tyre for the conditions, and then weighing the value of a used X compound vs a new Y compound, or a Z one which might be a second slower to begin with but gets you to the end of the race. And then a late safety car might allow a team to try the W compound with just 6 laps to go – i’ts fast but will it last?
        Then again, it won’t take long for the big teams to have the tyres worked out and the models fully in place for every contingency. (Mercedes will probably get a secret test and have the compounds worked out to within a micron of track roughness and a centi-Kelvin of track temperature.)

        1. Plus with only 2 sets of each per weekend, choosing when to use the faster tyres would add variety to the race. i.e using the hyper soft and super soft for qualifying and racing on the harder compound or saving faster tyres for the race. It’s like every race would have the randomness of a wet weekend

    11. I just want to see the tires far less finicky in terms of their narrow optimum operating temperatures. Tires that don’t force a driver to hang back behind a car for fear of ruining his tires. They talked about bringing in tread ware tires for this season and it seems to have not happened. Will the 2018 tires be tread ware ones rather than temp ware ones? Isn’t it a problem to handcuff drivers with these finicky tires while overtaking is enough of an issue that they need a gadget like DRS? I would think better tires would go a long way toward the moves needed to eventually rid themselves of DRS. So it’s not the number of compounds and their colours and names that I care about…it’s the racing.

    12. This is not what I had in mind Pirelli… Also the fact that the hard and full wets are same colour further confirms that they have no idea what they are doing.

      1. Light blue and dark blue, as the article (but not the chart) says.

    13. Super hard“? Didn’t the 2017 hard compound itself receive just a single outing in 2017, in Spain? So why a new harder compound?

      Unless the 2018 super hard is equal to the 2017 hard, and the 2018 hard is between the 2017 medium and 2017 hard.

      Even in that case, I don’t see how the super hard and hard compounds will see much use, given the current approach of bringing 3 compounds to a weekend.

      I’d have thought it would be easier for all involved (Pirelli, teams, etc.) if we had fewer compounds, so I’m curious to know what is the motivation behind such a change.

      1. @phylyp Indeed, surely the only way the super hard is going to be used is if the actual compound is at no harder than the current hard (assuming next year’s cars are both heavier and quicker and therefore put more load on the tyres).

        1. All compounds were made one step softer. The super hard is last years’ hard and was retained as insurance in case the cars produced are too unforgiving to the new softer tyres.

    14. Why they haven’t gone for ultra hard instead of hyper soft (and shifted them all) doesn’t make sense.

      Then again, having seven dry tyres makes little sense either so I’m not surprised.

      1. @strontium Because then they couldn’t have done ‘social media engagement’ and have the fans choose.

        1. Professor Piehead
          23rd November 2017, 15:09

          We should probably be grateful we didn’t end up with Tyrey McTyreface.

          1. My thoughts exactly – or Hardy McHardTyre and Softy McSoftTyre (that has just caused my spell check to flip me off and walk away muttering).

      2. @strontium – because then the names would be all balanced and sensible, and we can’t have that now, can we?

    15. Instead of creating more types of dry tyre, why don’t they have three types of wet tyre. Clearly they are not capable of building wet tyres that work properly so maybe that’s something they should be focusing on more

    16. Although the naming system is a bit silly, does it really matter that there are so many compounds to choose from now? Arguably the only difference to the Bridgestone/Michelin days is that we know which compounds the manufacturer is choosing from for each race weekend.

      If having these extra compounds allows the selections to be tailored better to each track and produces better racing then it’s a good thing. But that’s a very big ‘if’ – it all comes down to how good a job Pirelli have done.

      1. @keithcollantine

        does it really matter that there are so many compounds to choose from now?

        In my opinion, yes, the number of compounds matter.

        I say this because Pirelli have limited testing options (days/kilometres), and have often complained about the same. Having fewer compounds would mean more testing for those compounds given the same testing schedule. From a manufacturing/QC standpoint as well, that should definitely simplify things.

        You make a good point about fine-grained differences making it easier to pick a combination for a track, however.

      2. Knowing how many compounds Pirelli make matters to a point, but for the purposes of a race weekend you only need to know the relative softness of the tyres they have brought to the track. We don’t need to know that a tyre is the 5th hardest in the entire range, all we need to know is its hardness compared to what other tyres are available that weekend. Pirelli can make as many compounds as they want, but they should just call them Soft, Medium and Hard at the track.

        1. We don’t need to know that a tyre is the 5th hardest in the entire range, all we need to know is its hardness compared to what other tyres are available that weekend

          I disagree with that @geemac, i really disliked the “option” vs. “main” thing and if you think back to the days they did it exactly like you describe.

          In the end we would then have the commentators still discussing how the softer tyre (you know, the one that was the harder one last race, down’t worry it will last …) would perform completely different from the softer tyre a race back etc.

          And off course, as Keith mentions, before that we were left in the dark with regards to this kind of thing. I love that we can get a better understanding through this, and I hope the larger amount to pick from just helps make sure that what they pick for a race actually gets used.

      3. @keithcollantine

        Although the naming system is a bit silly, does it really matter that there are so many compounds to choose from now? Arguably the only difference to the Bridgestone/Michelin days is that we know which compounds the manufacturer is choosing from for each race weekend.

        I second that, and I believe that this is a good example for the paradoxical situation in which increased transparency doesn’t lead to happier fans (even though they keep demanding more of it), but to more discontent. Most fans tend to understand much less of the complexities of F1 than they like to believe, so that giving them even more information means that there are more and more aspects that sound nonsensical to them.
        When it comes to transparency, less is more.

      4. Good point, Keith. Even back in the Goodyear days, they probably had quite a wide selection to choose from; we just didn’t know about it. (In fact, I always – probably naïvely, although in those money-no-object days, who knows? – assumed Goodyear used to tailor their prime and option to each track, and there were therefore about thirty-odd compounds over the course of the season. Not to mention quali tyres.)

        The naming is stupid though.

      5. It won’t be better racing if it’s one tyre against each other. You’ll think you just saw a great move, then a commentator will kill the fun by explaining that Kimi was on hypersofts while Lewis was on 16-lap-old supermediums. That’s overfaking – nearly as false as DRS.

      6. Exactly Keith. I think it is nice to see the options available to the manufacturer and teams and I hope that the better knowledge gained during this year and the larger amount of steps in the range of compounds help Pirelli offer tyres that will be better suited for the tracks.

    17. The old names were confusing, and should have stuck to the well accepted English/French nomenclature:
      Rare – Bleu
      Medium Rare – Saignant
      Medium – A Point
      Medium Well – Cuit
      Well Done – Bien Cuit

      Then the new ones would automatically be called:
      the new hardest: Shoe Sole
      the new softest: pre Slaughter

    18. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      23rd November 2017, 14:35

      If something sounds this ridiculous…… it probably is!
      Softer the better IMO, but I can’t comprehend why there are so many incremental variants, it just can’t be necessary.

    19. Do you know what we’re missing?…the Super Medium.

      I demand a Super Medium tyre.

      1. I want an Extreme Medium.

      2. And a hyperintermediate. For use in extreme drizzle.

    20. I find this entire approach idiotic for the following reasons –
      1) Is there a need for any more tyre compounds? NO. Even the hard tyres were barely used during the season. For the races they were included, every team and driver avoided them like the plague. So why on earth would you introduce a Superhard?
      2) Does more tyre compounds add anything more to the racing? NO. The stronger teams deal with newer tyres better than the weaker teams. It doesn’t add any excitement or unpredictability to the races at all. The scope for different tyre strategies using different tyre compounds was next to none in 2017 anyways.
      3) Does this benefit the smaller teams? NO. Mercedes and Ferrari will end up taking a lion’s share of Pirelli’s tyre tests and the other teams will complain and moan about the lack of track time they had on new compounds.
      4) The soft compound is now the 4th hardest compound or the 4th softest compound. There are 3 tyres softer than the soft tyre. That’s just ridiculous. Why wouldn’t you just name the current soft tyre as medium, especially considering it’s bang in the middle.

      Looks like Liberty has some of Bernie’s change it if it isn’t broken syndrome.

      1. 1) Is there a need for any more tyre compounds? NO.

        The rest of your point 1 fails to adequately support your no. There is nothing that states that the 2018 Superhard cannot be softer than the 2017 Hard.

        2) Does more tyre compounds add anything more to the racing? NO.

        The rest of your point 2 fails to adequately support your no. Pirelli’s aim is making every race a 2 stop race, thus improving strategy options. a larger selection of tyres helps with this aim.

        3) Does this benefit the smaller teams? NO.

        Kinda seems irrelevant, this is always how it is. It does not make the suggestion any more idiotic than Pirelli doing wet weather tests with Just MB, RB or Fer.

        4) The soft compound is now the 4th hardest compound or the 4th softest compound. There are 3 tyres softer than the soft tyre. That’s just ridiculous. Why wouldn’t you just name the current soft tyre as medium, especially considering it’s bang in the middle.

        I agree with this (as in the naming is wrong it should be US, SS, S, M, H, SH, UH).

        Looks like Liberty has some of Bernie’s change it if it isn’t broken syndrome

        Pirelli! How do you not know who makes the tyres? I have seen nothing linking this to LM in any way.

        1. The rest of your point 1 fails to adequately support your no. There is nothing that states that the 2018 Superhard cannot be softer than the 2017 Hard.

          It would fail if Pirelli didn’t say it was introducing a HARDER compound

          The rest of your point 2 fails to adequately support your no. Pirelli’s aim is making every race a 2 stop race, thus improving strategy options. a larger selection of tyres helps with this aim.

          If Pirelli’s aim was to make it 2 stop races, then they should have added 2 softer compounds. Not 1 harder and one softer compound. Why on earth would you think an artificially induced 2 stop race would make racing better completely baffles me.

          Pirelli! How do you not know who makes the tyres? I have seen nothing linking this to LM in any way.

          Considering LM are the one’s running the sport. The buck stops at them for sporting developments like these.

          1. Sorry @todfod, but this statement is not true

            It would fail if Pirelli didn’t say it was introducing a HARDER compound

            Pirelli never said that they are going to introduce a compound that is harder than the current compound named “hard”. They just announced that they will have more steps in compounds that range from super hard to hyper soft, to allow for a better fit between tyre and track. And this is partially based on the information from this year actually allowing Pirelli to get good data on the current cars.

            The expectation is actually that the super hard will be the current hard (see also why it will have the same colouring the current hard has), only to be used on the toughest tracks and possibly based on cars loading on more and more downforce race after race. It might not be used a lot at the start, but could see more and more use over time.

    21. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      23rd November 2017, 14:48

      Hypermediums overlookled again!

    22. Would be amazing if they could make the wet tyres glow in the dark, or light up in some way like those light up valve caps you get. Would make for some amazing looking photos.

    23. so… make ZERO STOPS an option!

    24. How to overcomplicate things 101

    25. so the hards AND the wets are both blue……..???!!!

      1. Light blue and dark blue, as the article (but not the chart) says.

      2. It’s somewhat unlikely that there will be any confusion as to which blue tyre is being used during a race.

    26. I see a lot of hate comments but some folks might not remember how we got here. There was a time when there only two tyres, prime and options, and the team had to run both. The teams optimised that too and there were no exciting races from it.

      Adding more compounds is a good thing. It gives teams more options to pick tyres that better suit their car. I’m sure the naming is silly but overall, I think it is going to be good.

      1. But the teams don’t get to choose, Pirelli bring 3 tyres they think will wear out fast enough to allow 16 pit-crew to make a pass.

    27. Understatement of the year: “some of our 2017 compounds were perhaps conservative”.

      Tyres haven’t really played a role this year (there are no cases of someone going for one stop with hard tyres and someone opting for ultrasoft and doing three stops), and I don’t think this will change much next year.

    28. Disappointed. All the opportunities and we still got no Ultra Medium.

      1. Being a medium compound is a bit of lonely experience. I’m hoping for Mega mediums to be introduced in the future.

    29. My girlfriend Likes the sound of Super Hard
      I’ll get my coat….

    30. To make it worse, I never remember what are “prime” and “option”. Oh, and I’m colorblind (confusing some pinks with blueish shades), so adding to more colors doesn’t help.

    31. They had an online poll to decide what name to call a tyre?

      I don’t believe that for a moment. If it were true, the result would surely have been Tyrey McTyreface.

      Next – an online poll to decide what the next online poll should be about.

    32. They should bring just four different tyres to a Grand Prix, call them hard dry, soft dry, intermediate wet and full wet, then after the final free practice session each driver has to pick one out of the two dry tyres to remove from their allocation for the rest of the event.

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        23rd November 2017, 19:41

        My point exactly. That’s what it was like before we started mucking about with qualifying

    33. Hypersoft? It’s like Spinal Tap:

      “This one goes to 11!”

      “Why couldn’t you just go back and make 10 louder?”

      “Yeah but this one goes to 11!”

    34. The colours seem out of sequence. Cold colours for the harder compounds but now Orange that is a warm colour and would better be reflected amongst softer tyre colours. I am thinking ranking in the order of colours of the rainbow (tyres will be Zippy as long as teams don’t Bungle their choices)

    35. Could be worse. Expect the post 2020 engine parity regulations will put extreme pressure on the tyres.

      To further reduce costs, Pirrelli will be tasked to supply the Super Tough Tyre. Each team will receive 3 sets of tyres for the entire season. Smaller teams will save money by eliminating the labour cost of pit crews. Young driver prospects that have wheel gun skills as well as wheel talent and wheely big sponsorship will be in ultra demand.

      1. @jimmi-cynic

        The notion of fewer tires each weekend occured to me too. All those tires have to cost enough to be target for penny pinching.

        There are some practical limitations. For starters an increase in tire weight or hardness would really hurt performance.

        Fewer tires would act as penalities for flat spotting or poor set up.

        The sponsorship details probably work against it too. Meaning Pirelli might not be willing to accept either a less prominent

        Hopefully nobody thinks this is a good idea.

    36. Great news for Formula1! Pirelli has made me hyper-excited for the new compounds that will be introduced in 2019, with their completely-not-confusing colours:

      Playdoh soft – Salmon
      Donut soft – Dark cyan
      Superduper soft – Plum
      Megamegamega soft – Blanchedalmond
      Diamond hard – Light slate grey
      7-day-old-bread hard – Crimson
      Suuuuuuuper hard – Papayawhip

    37. Who the f..ck can remember those colors?

      Suggestion:
      Wet 1: 1 blue ring
      Wet 2: 2 blue rings

      And do the same with the rings for hard, medium and soft…so 4 colors

    38. I don’t mind this, I hope it adds more variation in strategy. Id like Pirelli to mix it up a bit. Why not take the Superhard, Soft & Ultrasoft to a race maybe have a scenario where a 3 stop on the softer two tyres is close timewise to a one stop for the superhard

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