Pirelli reveals its rainbow tyre range for Formula 1

The birth of a new family: the 2018 Pirelli tyres, in all the colours of the rainbow. The backdrop is one of the most modern cities in the world. We’re talking about Abu Dhabi and the state of the art Marina Bay circuit, which this year again hosts the final round of the Formula 1 World Championship. And among the many events going on over the weekend there is also Pirelli’s launch of its 2018 tyre range. The launch celebrates the birth of a new family: the 2018 Pirelli tyres, in all the colours of the rainbow.  Next year, the Italian firm will introduce seven slick tyres to Formula 1. As well as the five compounds seen this year, which will be considerably softer compared to 2017, there will be two new compounds and therefore two new colours. For all seven slick tyres, there will be fresh constructions and working ranges. The Cinturato Green intermediate and Blue full wet will be unchanged in colour but also benefit from some technical improvements for 2018.

The first brand-new entry is the P Zero Orange superhard, the hardest compound of the range that will maintain the orange colour that for many years has symbolised the most durable compound of them all. The new superhard enters the family as something of an ‘insurance policy’, given that all the other compounds have gone a lot softer, as requested by teams and drivers and developed by Pirelli throughout more than 20 days of testing in 2017.  Slotting in below the new superhard is the hard compound, which next year takes on a new ice blue colour.

The P Zero White medium, P Zero Yellow soft, P Zero Red supersoft and P Zero Purple ultrasoft remain unchanged in colour although as mentioned before they will be a lot softer than 2017, underlining the trend towards a softer range across the board.

Completing the 2018 rainbow is another brand-new tyre: the P Zero Pink hypersoft, which was christened by more than 30,000 followers who took part in a poll via three of Pirelli’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). This is actually the second time that Pirelli has involved its social followers in naming a tyre. The first time at the end of 2015 was to name the ultrasoft tyre, where purple was chosen the winner.

A number of Formula 1 drivers, including newly-crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen, as well as other F1 personalities, took part in the social launch after the Brazilian Grand Prix through a series of short videos in which they asked their followers to take part in the Pirelli poll. From more than 156,000 answers, here are just a few that distinguished themselves through their creativity or global reach.

Team banter
There’s a new pink tyre coming? Mercedes and Force India provided plenty of reliable back and forth banter on the subject. It was of course of particular interest to Force India – as this year the team has adopted an entirely pink livery, which coordinates nicely with Pirelli’s new P Zero pink hypersoft tyres.

Hypersoft tyres = extra softness
Some of Pirelli’s fans also had a lot of fun in choosing inventive names for this new compound, which takes soft tyres to new level. So soft, in fact, that they might be as soft as a cuddle you would give to a kitten. And that’s why some Facebook and Twitter users came up with kittensoft as a potential name – or even fluffy soft. Not to mention Softy McSoftface.

P Zero Pink, Pirelli’s initiative to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation
Many people remembered the initiative supported by Pirelli at the United States Grand Prix, when the P Zero Purple ultrasoft tyres changed colour to pink for a one-off outing at Austin. The reason behind it was to support the partnership between Formula 1 and the Susan G. Komen foundation: the biggest global organisation in the fight against breast cancer, which since 1982 has raised more than $920 million in order to fund research and awareness. This colour-changing initiative launched by Pirelli was also a source of inspiration when it came to naming the new tyre.

And the winner is...
With 62% of the vote, hypersoft was the clear winner of Pirelli’s social survey to name its new softest tyre. A dominant majority, which outclassed two other options that were proposed: extremesoft and megasoft.

The ‘hyper’ prefix actually comes from Greek and it’s used to indicate something that is ‘above’ or ‘beyond’. In this case, the new P Zero Pink hypersoft is positioned above the current standards of softness, and goes beyond the already remarkable performance displayed by the 2017 tyres, wider than their predecessors with new constructions and compounds.

Towards 2018
The presentation of the new P Zero tyre range bids farewell to the 2017 season and opens the door to 2018. The teams will try out the new tyres for very first time at the post-season test that will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It’s the first taste of next year’s championship and another new dawn for Formula 1, in glorious technicolour. Just like the new Pirelli tyre range.

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