Compounding the Problem

A couple of days ago Pirelli announced it was to reconsider the colours it uses to distinguish which compound of tyre Formula 1 cars are wearing, and how they are displayed on the tyres.

I remember a long time ago, when I used to read car magazines every week and watch Top Gear religiously on a Thursday evening on BBC2 at 8:30pm, a magazine called Auto Express ran a story saying that the then F1 tyre supplier had found a way of colouring the whole tyre during the manufacturing process without compromising grip levels. They said that within a year all Teams could select the colours of their tyres to match the livery on the cars, so Ferrari would have red tyres, Williams would have blue, and so on.

I was really excited by this story, and waited with great anticipation for the cars with matching tyres to hit the circuits. It never happened. Looking back I do now wonder if it was real, did I dream it? But surely if it was a dream I wouldn’t recollect the siting of the article on the page in the magazine, the little picture of an F1 car with blue tyres and discussing at length with my friend James what colours each team would run. So was it an April Fool? That would seem to be the logical answer, or it could have just been too expensive.

But if Formula 1 and Pirelli want to make it obvious from any viewing angle what type of tyre a car is running at any given moment, what more blatant a way than colouring the entire tyre?! Is it possible? Is it financially viable? What would it look like?!


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