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Pirelli to use different colours on 2011 tyres

Pirelli will use a colourful method to visibly differentiate its tyre compounds at grands prix this year.

A few years ago, the FIA said sole supplier Bridgestone must differentiate the appearance of the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ options at races.

With the grooved tyres, the Japanese marque painted a line in a middle groove of the soft options, and when slicks returned in 2009 the soft Bridgestones featured a green circle on the sidewall.

According to Italian sources, F1’s new sole supplier Pirelli has come up with a different approach to conform with the same rule in 2011.

A report in the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat claims that each compound with have the words ‘Pirelli P Zero’ painted in different colours on the sidewall.

The super-soft wording will reportedly be in red, the soft will be in white, the medium in blue and the hard in yellow.

Meanwhile, the sidewall colourings of the full wet tyre will be yellow, and the intermediates red.

After four floodlit nights in Abu Dhabi that concluded this week, Pirelli said it is now ready for the forthcoming group tests and the season.

But the marque’s research and development boss Maurizio Boiocci admitted that one unknown factor is how the tyres will be affected by the additional speed delivered by KERS and adjustable rear wings.

“If the speed came on gradually, for sure there would be no problems,” he said.  “But it remains to be seen what happens when all the power comes on suddenly.”

Pirelli test driver Pedro de la Rosa told Spain’s Marca newspaper that he thinks Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton will adapt best to the new tyres in 2011.

“Changes like this always benefit the best ones, and the best ones are Hamilton and Alonso,” he said.

“But I don’t think the changing of tyres brands will be a big problem for anyone.”

Meanwhile, it has emerged that – so that no drivers or teams are favoured – the FIA will distribute Pirelli’s tyres to the teams after randomly shuffling the code numbers at grands prix.