Seven will be the magic number for Pirelli in 2018, as the official tire manufacturer of Formula 1 is increasing the number of dry compound options from five to a staggering seven for F1 teams.
Just why so many tire options are needed is beyond most people. While it is clear that a simple choice of hard or soft tires would not work — thanks to the wide variety of track surfaces and climates on the calendar — seven does seem a little excessive.
The existing range of ultrasoft, supersoft, soft, medium and hard have been bolstered by the introduction of the hypersoft and superhard tires.
In addition to the new compounds, Pirelli have also said that all of their tires will be a step softer than in 2017, “making them the fastest tires in Formula 1 history.”
Given how short the life of the 2017 ultrasoft proved to be during a Grand Prix in 2017, the hypersoft – essentially two steps softer — will surely be used almost exclusively as a qualifying tire.
The pink-walled hypersoft will debut in the postseason test on the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.