Pirelli, F1’s exclusive tyre supplier, could add up to three more compounds next season to its current range of five different tyres.

The Italian manufacturer is looking to broaden its range in order to provide teams with greater flexibility in its race weekend choices.

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Pirelli will make its final decision after next week’s tyre development test at Interlagos where McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne and Lando Norris are scheduled to run.

“We have to test some other compounds here, and this will give us the final decision on the compound range,” said Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola.

“After this test we will have all the information, if it is not raining obviously, to define the range for next year.

“We don’t know how many yet, but the idea is we need more flexibility to have choices that are more centred, so we have three compounds that are all usable at each event.

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“So we are in the process of fixing the product for next year.

“To have more flexibility we want to increase this range, and this is the reason why probably we are going to homologate more than five.

“We can homologate 50, but then it becomes a bit tricky to make the choice.

“If you exaggerate the number it looks like you are confused, so we need to choose a number that is enough to give us the flexibility – not too big.”

The introduction of new compounds would obviously require new names and color codes, but Isola insists the company will preserve its current nomenclature.

“Giving different names to the tyres is a bit losing the tradition, losing what we had in the last seven years,” Isola added.

“Now people have in mind that the supersoft is red, that the soft is yellow, and so on. It would be a pity to lose this association between names and colours.

“Obviously if we have to expand the range we will need to consider different levels.

“In the current range the soft is becoming next year the medium. So if you scale everything, the ultrasoft will be one step softer than the current one, without changing the names, without changing the colours.

If we have to add softer or harder levels we need to consider ‘Superhard’ or something like that.
“The idea is not to have a revolution. We can also call them A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H or whatever, but we start from zero. But then as I say, we lose the tradition.”

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