Pirelli announces new, pink F1 tire for 2018; fans to select name

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Pirelli has announced plans for a new Formula 1 tire compound for the 2018 season that will become the softest in its range, as well as using the pink design seen over the United States Grand Prix weekend.

Pirelli currently offers teams five tire compounds – hard, medium, soft, super-soft and ultra-soft – to use throughout the season, with any three being made available for each race weekend.

Following calls for tires to be less conservative in the future after a number of one-stop races this year, Pirelli confirmed on Sunday following the Brazilian Grand Prix it would be introducing a new compound for 2018 that is softer than the existing ultra-soft.

Fans will choose from three possible names for the tire – mega-soft, hyper-soft and extreme-soft – via Twitter, with the compound set to be colored pink for 2018.

The ultra-softs’ usual purple walling was replaced by pink for the USGP in Austin, Texas as part of F1’s efforts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, with the design proving popular among fans and teams. Pirelli’s full breakdown is linked here and summarized below.

2018 Formula 1 Tire Compounds and Colors

Hard – orange
Medium – white
Soft – yellow
Super-soft – red
Ultra-soft – purple
Mega-soft/hyper-soft/extreme-soft – pink

Intermediate – green
Wet – blue

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St.Ā Petersburg.