Getting to know: Pirelli's F1 Tires Range


In accordance with the regulations laid down by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) Pirelli will supply two different types of tire designed for two different types of use. The first type of tire has been designed for dry surfaces, while the second is for wet surfaces.

Dry weather tires, known as slicks, are characterised by a tread pattern that is devoid of blocks or channels. They come in five compounds: ultrasoft, supersoft, soft, medium and hard. The different compounds mean that the tires are well suited to a wide variety of circuits, according to the type of asphalt, the number and severity of the corners, and the top speed on the straights. This allows the teams to make use of an ample range of strategies.

Wet weather tires, characterised by grooves in the tread pattern, are split into two types: full wets and intermediates. The full wet tires can be easily recognised by the deep grooves in the tread pattern and sipes to drain off water on wet asphalt. The intermediates feature channels that are less deep and are designed for damp or slightly wet surfaces, as well as uncertain weather conditions.

Salracing - Pirelli Ultrasoft Purple


This is a brand new tire for this year, designed as low working range compound for use on tight and twisty circuits that place an emphasis on mechanical grip.

As the very softest tire in the range, designed to sit below the supersoft, it has a very rapid warm-up and huge peak performance, but the other side of this is its relatively limited overall life. The ultrasoft is not quite a qualifying tire, but it’s moving in that direction, with some interesting potential applications for it available as well during races.

Its purple markings were chosen as the result of an innovative social media campaign, with fans voting for their preferred colour.

Salracing - Pirelli Supersoft - Red


The second softest compound in the range is ideal for slow and twisty circuits, especially in cold weather, when maximum mechanical grip is needed.

The supersoft benefits from an extremely rapid warm-up time, which makes it ideal in qualifying as well, but the flip side to that important characteristic is of course increased degradation. 

This is a low working range compound.

Salracing - Pirelli Soft - Yellow


This is one of the most frequently used tires in the range, striking a very good balance between performance and durability, with the accent on performance.

It is still biased towards speed rather than long distances, but is nonetheless capable of providing teams with a competitive advantage both at the beginning of the race on full fuel and when used as a ‘sprint’ tire at the end.

This is a high working range compound.

Salracing - Pirelli Medium - White


Theoretically this is the most perfectly balanced of all the tires, with an ideal compromise between performance and durability.

As a result, it is extremely versatile, but it often comes into its own on circuits that tend towards high speeds, temperatures, and energy loadings.

This is a low working range compound.

Salracing - Pirelli Hard - Orange


The toughest tire in Pirelli’s range is designed for the circuits that put the highest energy loadings through the tires, with fast corners or abrasive surfaces, and are often characterised by high ambient temperatures.

The compound takes longer to warm up, but offers maximum durability – which frequently means that it plays a key role in race strategy.

This is a high working range compound

Salracing - Pirelli Intermediate - Green


The intermediates are the most versatile of the rain tires, dispersing approximately 25 litres of water per second at full speed.

They can be used on a wet as well as a drying track.

Salracing - Pirelli Wet - Blue


The full wet tires can each disperse up to 65 litres of water per second at full speed, making them the most effective solution for heavy rain.

The latest evolutions of the Cinturato Blue mean that it is also effective on a drying track, with increased durability. The result of this intensive work on the rain tire is increased driveability in a wide variety of conditions.


COURTESY OF Pirelli & C. S.p.A. - Pirelli tire S.p.A.