With Pirelli embarking on the first season of a three-year agreement to supply Formula One tires to all the teams, the company has revealed the colors that will be used to distinguish the six different types of tire to be used throughout the season.
In order to tell the six tires apart, each will carry its own distinct coloring on the Pirelli and P Zero logos on the sidewall.
Under the sport's rules, only two compounds of slick tire – known as the prime and the option – will be used for each race. In addition to this, intermediate and wet tires can be fitted if it rains.
The colors will enable viewers to tell instantly not only which is the prime and the option tire, but also exactly which type of tire is fitted to each car.
The six colors are as follows:
Wet - orange
Intermediate - light blue
Supersoft - red
Soft - yellow
Medium - white
Hard - silver
The wet tire is used in case of heavy rain, while the intermediate is for a damp or drying track. The supersoft provides plenty of speed at the expense of durability, while the soft tire lasts a bit longer but is still more biased towards performance. The medium tire is a balanced compromise, and the hard tire is the most durable of all.
In order to make the difference between the prime and option tires more pronounced, Pirelli's strategy is to offer a step of at least one compound between the tires nominated for each race. If the track conditions require it, though, this strategy may be revised. The prime and option tires for the first three grands prix of the year – Australia, Malaysia and China – will be hard and soft compounds, meaning that silver and yellow tires will be first to make an appearance in Melbourne.
Pirelli is no stranger to brightly-colored tires: when the Italian firm was previously involved in Formula One, the Benetton team was supplied with multi-colored rubber to run as part of their "United Colors" campaign back in 1986.
The opening race of the 2011 Formula One season, the Australian Grand Prix, takes place at Albert Park in Melbourne on March 27 with 24 Pirelli-equipped cars lined up to take the start.