Pirelli is the global tyre partner of Formula 1 and it will be until at least 2023. The current ninth consecutive season sees the manufacturer make several changes to its tyre range. There are only three colours used to represent slick tyres at each 2019 race: white for the hardest compound of the weekend, yellow for the medium one and red for the softest compound. In total, there are five compounds available for the year: they are numbered from 1 to 5, going from hardest to softest. There will also be some tyres that don’t carry any markings at all: these will be prototype tyres that will be seen during tests only to assess potential evolutions for the future.
This year the maximum temperature of the tyre blankets at the rear will be reduced to 80 degrees centigrade, while the front tyre blanket temperature will remain at the current 100 degrees centigrade. This will help front tyre warm-up, and also reduce the risk of graining: especially in low ambient temperatures. As a result, the starting pressures of the rear tyres have been reduced accordingly. The working ranges for each compound are a bit wider in 2019; each compound has extended its top operational temperature in order to reduce the potential for overheating.
Pirelli supplied a thinner tread at selected races where the asphalt was newer, last year. This succeeded in preventing overheating, and as a result, a similar tread reduction has been adopted for all 2019 tyres. The construction of the tyres will therefore be exactly the same at every race this year.
In 2018, two parallel ranges of wet and intermediate tyres were homologated: one for higher temperatures and one for lower temperatures. This year, there’s only one intermediate tyre and one full wet tyre for the whole year, as both tyres have been constructed to increase versatility. Pirelli has introduced completely new intermediate and wet tyres: the Cinturato Green and Blue tyres. The intermediate is designed to cover a wider range of conditions than its predecessor, meaning a more effective crossover point with both the slick and the full wet tyres. The tyre has improved performance in the wet. The full wet tyre is also entirely new, with a redesigned profile that offers greater resistance to aquaplaning and better driveability in heavy rain.
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