Pirelli has announced which compounds will be available for the first four races of the 2019 Formula 1 season.
Gone are terms like hypersoft and superhard next year – each race will have a hard, medium and soft tyre, as well as inters and wets. However, there will still be different compounds throughout the season, with five compounds available, from C1 (the hardest) to C5 (the softest).
C2 will be the hard compound in the opening race of the season, with C3 being used as the medium and C4 will be the soft. The same compounds will be used for the Chinese Grand Prix and Azerbaijan Grand Prix, while C1, C2 and C3 are preferred for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
As well as getting rid of the sometimes confusing compound names, Pirelli will only use three colours for their tyres in 2019. The hardest compound at each race will always be represented by a white stripe, while mediums will always be yellow and softs will have a red stripe.
Drivers will have to reserve one set of the softest compound at each race for use during Q3 of qualifying, which will be returned to them if they don’t make it through to the top 10. Each driver will also have to ensure they have the medium and hard compounds available for the race. Each driver will have 13 sets of the dry tyre for use during each race weekend, 10 of which the teams will be able to choose themselves. Selected sets have to be made eight weeks ahead of the race for European races, and 14 weeks in advance for long-haul races, such as those at the start of the 2019 calendar. With the Australian Grand Prix less than 14 weeks away, teams should now have already decided which tyres they’ll be using in Melbourne.