Dry weather tyres, known as slicks, are characterised by a tread pattern that is devoid of blocks or channels. They come in four compounds: supersoft, soft, medium and hard. The different compounds mean that the tyres 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. For each track, Pirelli – in accordance with the FIA - nominates the two dry compounds best suited to the tracks characteristics and the temperature to be expected.
Wet weather types:
Wet weather tyres, characterised by grooves in the tread pattern, are split into two types: full wets and intermediates. The full wet tyres 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.
This is the current Pirelli F1 tyre range for 2015:
P Zero™ Red Supersoft.
The softest compound in the range – which is completely new for this year – 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. One of the key evolutions on all the tyres this year has been optimisation of the footprint pressure and temperature distribution. This presents a more even contact with the asphalt, improving grip and handling. The supersoft is the only tyre with a completely fresh design this year, created to offer greater resistance to graining and blistering.
P Zero™ Yellow Soft.
This is one of the most frequently used tyres 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’ tyre at the end. This is a high working range compound.
P Zero™ White Medium.
Theoretically this is the most perfectly balanced of all the tyres, 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.
P Zero™ Orange Hard.
The toughest tyre in Pirelli’s range is designed for the circuits that put the highest energy loadings through the tyres, 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.
Cinturato™ Green Intermediate.
The intermediates are the most versatile of the rain tyres, dispersing approximately 25 litres of water per second at full speed. They can be used on a wet as well as a drying track.
Cinturato™ Blue Wet.
The full wet tyres can 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 tyre is increased driveability in a wide variety of conditions.
A new Purple colored Ultrasoft compound to debut after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix:
Milan, November 4, 2015 – Following an agreement ratified by the FIA World Council, Pirelli will hold a tyre test in Abu Dhabi after the final grand prix of the 2015 season. The one-day test will take place on Tuesday 1 December from 9am-9pm continuously, dedicated to slick tyre development.
Teams have been asked to run preferably race or reserve drivers, and they will not be allowed to try new parts nor alter the cars during the test. All of the teams involve will field one car each, but participation is voluntary. Pirelli will define the test programme for each car. The tyres used during this test will not be considered as part of the testing allocation for 2015.
The Italian tyre firm requested the Abu Dhabi session in order to develop a new construction for the 2016 slick tyres as well as test the new Ultrasoft compound, which will form part of the P Zero Formula One range next year.
The Ultrasoft will be distinguished by purple markings on the sidewall. This colour was chosen by fans who were asked to vote for either purple or silver via Pirelli’s social media channels. Purple was a resounding winner, capturing 85% of the votes.
© Pirelli & C. S.p.A.