Pirelli has tweaked its tire markings for 2012 to make the different compounds more visible for fans, with its wet rubber also getting a total revamp in their look.
Although Pirelli has kept the four different colored sidewalls – red (super-soft), yellow (soft), white (medium) and silver (hard) – the Italian tire maker has tweaked the design of the markings to make it easier to differentiate between the rubber.
In particular, the bands and lettering are larger – and in particular the color of the silver on the hard has been made darker so it is easier to tell it apart from the medium.
"We have increased the bulk of the colors, and we have done a lot of work filming spinning tires," Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery explained. "The silver now is quite svelte, so when it will be used with the medium, you will see the white quite clearly. If the tire looks black, then you know that is the hard.
"We had a lot more success with the yellow and the red, and we are now world experts in paint markings! It is not something we are going to stop, as colors are very important for product grouping."
As well as the tweaks to the dry rubber, Pirelli has totally changed its approach to the wet rubber. Rather than adopting the P-Zero name of the slicks, Pirelli's wets in 2012 will run under the Cinturato brand that the company made famous in the 1950s. The wet tire will have blue sidewall brandings, while the intermediate will now be green.
While hoping the different colored tires will help fans follow the action better, Pirelli is also continuing efforts with Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Management to try and improve the amount of tire information made available to television viewers. Pirelli is upping access for FOM to the race data feeds that engineers have at events, with the hope being that this – which includes information like how old a tire is – can then be shown on TV.
"They [FOM] have been working to see how they can use the data and put it on the screen," said Hembery. "We have more meetings planned about it. Bernie [Ecclestone] has recognized it, and got his people working on it. Everything is in place to make it happen, but we need to talk to FOM to make sure it happens."