F1 Tyres: 2019 Pirelli Formula One Tyre Compound and Tyres explained

  • What will be the tyre compounds for the 2019 F1 season? What are the key changes and what can be expected?
Dev Tyagi
Modified 22 Mar 2019, 11:48 IST

Instead of 7 compounds used in 2018, 2019 will have only 5
Instead of 7 compounds used in 2018, 2019 will have only 5

Formula 1 hits us on March 17 after having tested its fans’ anxiety to the zenith. Finally, racing season is back and one would hope, with a bang.

After all, a lot is up for grabs, and a lot is up for a change from where one sees it. 

To begin with, the leading narrative at least, Ferrari's perspective would be to see Sebastian Vettel usurp arch-rival Lewis Hamilton. Here’s a top-notch driver who, given his penchant for bettering a multiple-world championship-winning driver, has become not only England’s national treasure but one of F1’s modern icons.

There’s tremendous anticipation surrounding what might Red Bull driver Max Verstappen do if he’s to play spoil-sport in the Vettel versus Hamilton saga. Furthermore, while the likes of Fernando Alonso will be missed, El-Nino having migrated to other forms of four-wheel racing, the oldest driver on the grid, Kimi Raikkonen, now approaching 40, is expected to up his game at newly-christened Alfa Romeo- so will he?

But, while it’s best to leave the Iceman alone, for he generally knows what he’s doing, one finds it hard to undermine the excitement that Robert Kubica’s return to the sport offers, the same way one cannot rule out the possibility of expecting something special from the sport’s ever-smiling Ricciardo.

Will he stay true to the racing colours at Renault that he’s come to adorn or would there be spoilers in the bright gold? Amid all of this, improved car designs, reinvigorated aero functioning, and new rules are expected to play their own part in the 2019 F1 season.

This brings us to the question: What is the 2019 Pirelli F1 Tyre allocation under the new system?

Pirelli have revealed the tyre compound choices for the first four Grands Prix of the 2019 season. 2019 will see a new simplified designation for soft, medium, and hard tyre compounds.

That told, while the three basic names shall come into play at each of the aforementioned events, what the Italian multinational have done is that they’ve got a new C1-C5 system which will notify which actual compound is being used on a particular weekend, beginning with Melbourne.

To add further, it’s important to note that while C1 is the hardest, C5 is the softest. 


Interestingly, when compared to the 2018 tyre compounds, that included- Hard (Ice Blue), Medium (White), Soft (Yellow), Supersoft (Red), Ultrasoft (Purple), and Hypersoft (Pink), 2019 will see the ultrasofts will present a back-up version, albeit one with no color branding on its side. 

That told, from seven tyre compounds used in 2018, the brand new season will be using only five tyres in the range.

Who is to know whether this is a much-needed truncation or a sudden change? But what’s known is that burning rubber on technical decisions such as these, implicit in deciding the fate of races and hence, their outcome, makes less sense.

Furthermore, the Melbourne GP at Australia, Chinese GP at Shanghai, and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, a fan-favourite as seen in the past runs of the event shall see C2, C3, and C4 being used.

Published 12 Mar 2019, 11:34 IST
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