Pirelli has confirmed its tyre compound choices for the opening four races of the 2019 Formula 1 season, opting for a harder selection than in 2018.

Pirelli will introduce a new tyre naming system at the start of next season, switching from a range of seven dry compounds to just five, ranging from C1 to C5 as they get softer through the range. The compounds will be allocated as the Hard, Medium and Soft tyre for each race.

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Pirelli will take its C2, C3 and C4 compounds to the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 17 - equivalent to the Medium, Soft and Ultrasoft from 2018 - before opting for its hardest possible selection of C1, C2 and C3 for the Bahrain Grand Prix two weeks later.

China will mirror the tyres for Australia as teams have C2, C3 and C4 to choose from at the Shanghai International Circuit, with the same selection being made for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku at the end of April.

The decision to opt for a slightly harder choice of tyre aligns with Pirelli's preference to have more one-stop races but give drivers a more consistent tyre they can push harder through races.

"We have seen this year most of the races with one stop. We went softer and softer, and teams were managing the pace more and more," Pirelli F1 chief Mario Isola said.

"So is it good that we continue with this approach, or we just accept that we have one-stop races, but maybe we go one step harder and drivers can push?

“If you ask me my personal opinion is, it’s better to go in this direction. We accept that we have one-stop races, but at least we give the opportunity to drivers to push."

FORMULA 1 2019 - AVAILABLE TYRE COMPOUNDS

Australia: C2 (Hard), C3 (Medium), C4 (Soft)
BahrainC1 (Hard), C2 (Medium), C3 (Soft)
China: C2 (Hard), C3 (Medium), C4 (Soft)
Azerbaijan: C2 (Hard), C3 (Medium), C4 (Soft)

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