For the 2020 Formula 1 ® season, Pirelli will present a new range of tyres. The offering has been slimmed down to just five slick compounds and three colours per race; white will be hard, yellow denotes medium and red will indicate soft. Each compound this year will be assigned a numeric code rather than permanent color assignment. The new range will be numbered from C1 to C5, with C1 being the hardest and C5 the softest. These new tyres have been designed to increase resistance to overheating and provide greater consistency over the course of a stint. The range also includes a revised wet and intermediate tyre choices.
DISCOVER ALL TYRES RANGE
C1 stands for Compound 1, and it’s the hardest tyre in the 2020 Pirelli range, sitting just below the 2019 hard in terms of compounding. It’s designed for circuits that put the highest energy loadings through the tyres, which will typically feat.
C2 means Compound 2, effectively last year's medium tyre. A versatile compound, but sitting at the harder part of the spectrum, it comes into its own on circuits that tend towards high speeds, temperatures, and energy loadings. This tyre has demonstrated an ample working range and adaptability to a wide variety of different circuits.
This tyre is equivalent to the soft that was nominated in all but four of the races last year. It strikes a very good balance between performance and durability, with the accent on performance. It’s a very adaptable tyre that can be used as the softest compound at a high-severity track as well as the hardest compound at a low-severity track or street circuit.
This is closest to the 2019 ultrasoft and it works well on tight and twisty circuits. It has a rapid warm-up and huge peak performance, but the other side of this is its relatively limited overall life.
The softest 2020 compound is the heir to the universally-popular hypersoft: the fastest compound that Pirelli has ever made. This tyre is suitable for all circuits that demand high levels of mechanical grip, but the trade-off for this extra speed and adhesion is a considerably shorter lifespan than the other tyres in the range. Getting the most out of it will be a key to race strategy.
The intermediates are the most versatile of the rain tyres. They can be used on a wet track with no standing water, as well as a drying surface. This tyre evacuates 30 litres of water per second per tyre at 300kph. There’s a new compound that is designed to expand the working range, guaranteeing a proper crossover both with the slicks and the full wets.
The full wet tyres 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 tyre is increased driveability in a wide variety of conditions. At the start of 2016, Pirelli carried out the very first specific wet tyre test with contemporary Formula One machinery at Paul Ricard in France, in order to refine the development of the latest wet-weather tyres. This has been extremely valuable in determining the latest evolutions.