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Pirelli reveal compounds for opening rounds of 2019 F1 season
Posted By: Editor   |  11 Dec 2018   |  7:07 pm GMT  |  163 comments

Pirelli have revealed the first tyre compounds that they will use under their revised system, brought in for the start of the 2019 season.

In a bid to simplify the F1 spectacle for fans, Pirelli have introduced a revised system where only three colours will be used on the walls of the slick tyres; white, yellow and red.

These will indicate hard, mid-range, and soft-compound tyre on all Grand Prix weekends, despite the exact grade of tyre still varying from race-to-race.

An additional system will be used to specify the compound of tyre, ranging from C1 to C5. C1 will be the hardest compound, and C5 will be the softest.

In 2018, a seven-tyre compound range was made available, including four types of ‘soft’ compound; soft, supersoft, ultrasoft and hypersoft.

Under the simplified version, three of the first four rounds have been allocated the middle three tyres; C2, C3 and C4. Bahrain will use a harder range; C1, C2 and C3.

The Italian tyre manufacturers recently extended their Formula One contract after winning the tender for 2020-2023.

Pirelli had fended off rivals Hankook for the supply deal, but their position wasn’t really under threat due to the technical challenge of the 2021 rule changes.

Hankook coming in to Formula One would’ve resulted in the South Korean company needing to produce a tyre spec just for 2020, before creating a new range of tyres for 2021 onward, a costly and difficult technical challenge.

The changes in tyre rules for 2021 include a switch from 13-inch to 18-inch rims, a ban on tyre blankets, and new technical guidelines to create to-stop races and higher-degradation tyres. Most of these aspects were enough to put off Michelin from seeking a return to Formula One.

All Images: Motorsport Images

By: Luke Murphy

What do you think of the new tyre colour system? Did you prefer the previous one? Leave your comments in the section below.

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Dirty air in the wake of the cars, dirty air in the tyres, dirty air from the exhaust pipes, dirty electricity in the PU’s.

Bad connotations for a brand trying to get Eco friendly. Better stop trying


And McClaren getting into bicycle design? Kryptomite bearings, wind fairings, weight reduction from 10 pounds to 9 pounds?


They can’t make anything happen in Formula 1, so time to diversify. IndyCar with Chevy, bicycles with Specialized – because McLaren are experts in bicycles and because Formula 1 chassis and wing aero make such difference in bicycles, right? I’m not sure McLaren is experts in cars anymore to be honest. I mean, they made that amazing F1 back in the 90s, and ever since they’re just circling the drain with wanna be F1s that never live up to the purity of the F1.

This is a nice way to extract some cash from a few select customers. The whole bicycle effort is a 5M in revenue effort – hardly anything exciting.

Let me tell you a dirty little secret about bicycles. There is so much value to be had in road bicycles. You can get really impressive hardware for very little money, and paying this to save 9-11% of the frame weight only – mind you, frames are already incredibly light – is just silly. Most of the weight is elsewhere, and road bikes are so light, taking a dump before the ride saves much more weight and does so quite cheaply.

I’m always fascinated by guys paying $10, $12, $15 grand for a bike to get the lightest, then I see them ride with bunch of junk in their pockets and a large water bottle on the frame. Get a grip! It’s a frikken workout for 99.9% of the riders out there. An extra pound or two is actually more resistance and a heavier workout. Isn’t that the goal?


And Sebee knows bikes. Ask to see a pic of his Ferrari special if you don’t believe me.


Sometimes, I think that F1 is living in another world. On another site

there is a story about how F1 will attract other engine manufacturers. Really? Why would any other manufacturer really want to get into F1 – even with ‘help’ from the other PU suppliers?


This is more complicated to understand. The soft, medium and hard is simple. But God knows what C1 to C5 is. Surely would have made sense to keep the original names. Also I’d it is going to be C1 to 5, shouldn’t C1 be the softest not 5?

Pirelli have made a mess of this in my opinion. Too many dry tyres. Should have never introduced the hyper soft (C5?) and shouldn’t have now changed the names to numbers. People know what hard, medium and soft mean. Now I’ll have to check if c4 is super soft or hard.


yeah this is the revolution f1 needs thanks ross


No thanx I think I’ll pass on that, thank you


in qualifying session, we should add the time in supersoft, soft and medium compound and see the overall fastest driver.


Or car


To everyone saying this is a backwards step, dumbing down F1 etc, this is exactly what Bridgestone did with their tyres – they had different compounds and differentiated the harder and softer tyres with white stripes/green bands.

See, look what you’ve all made me do, you’ve made me defend Pirelli.


I recall team specific focus on tires during Bridgestone. No?


What’s a “tire”?


It means to exhaust the patience or interest, bore. 🙂

What the hell is a tyre? It is true that some British cars actually keep the spare tyre under the bonnet instead of keeping it in the boot? 🙂


@Sebee…My car is German and i don’t get a spare!!!


Sebee, I’m sure the Canadians would never allow such a safety hazard on one of their cars, if they ever get around to building one….

Colonel Worthington-Digley-smyth

This is where a truly British car keeps its spare tYre:


No wonder some Brits can’t see the road ahead TimW!


Sebee, no it’s the French and Italians that do that, a proper British car may well have the spare on the bonnet, but never under it….


I have just had a good chuckle at the latest comments made by Brawn. He’s just gone public with his revelation that the current manufacturers wanted [ and succeeded ] in locking out any competition. Gee, the insight this man has is mind boggling hahaha. But wait, Liberty and their clown ensemble will force the existing Manu’s to supply technical know how and, wait for it…even physical parts of the PU to other manufacturers should they wish to sign on to the circus. As if? What new manufacturer would agree to participate with the public knowledge that they re running other competitors componetry? Is this a joke……Yes, the cars might look different in ’21 but they won’t be all that different under the skin, or so it seems ATM.


Agreed you have to chuckle at Liberty.
Their Steering group seem to be a collection of “yes” men and as soon as they are told “no” by the big teams…The Steering group all turn round and say
“YES” to the big teams “”We agree with you…please don’t leave !! Without you there is no F1”.
Also everyone knows Liberty like CVC are in it to maximise their money return.
They will not rock the Cash Cow. Instead milk it until the last udder goes septic. Then sell it on to the next parasitic leech.
To rub salt into the wounds. Funny how Slime ball Bernie E says he tried to buy Silverstone. But the BRDC refused. Bull ! After all ‘B.E.’ the leech, who can suck the last bit of cash from a race track…before saying “Well if you don’t want to host the race, there are plenty more despotic leaders and totalitarian regimes that will host races. Without batting an eyelid at the expense!”
Leeches prime OBJECTIVE “Suck the blood dry and move on to next sport”.


That may well be the case BK.

CVC had nothing to show for other than the level of stupidity they displayed, that is not up for debate. And greed of course.

LM, so we were told, they had some expertise in certain areas at least, that would make it all happen. Glory and excitement for everyone.

But now where is that content they speak of, not to speak of their expertise.

Maybe that content just comes in a different wrapping. Like yesterdays news.

Glossy and kitschy as the cowboy pants Max and Ric had to wear


Using “ standard “ parts is fairly common across the motor industry so I don’t why ( say) Audi would not build an engine with a badged energy recovery module.

I think that all this , however, is just a red herring designed to move us away from the fact that the current engine manufacturers hold so much power that they can force F1 to stay with these abominations that pass for race engines.


Audi are in a pickle because of the emissions scandal. They are still waiting for even bigger law suits and mega fines to head there way from the USA and the EU.
Hence they pulled out of many motor racing formats. I think it would be very odd for them to be seen in such an expensive form of racing.
Being at the forefront in a Blue Ribbon motor racing competition will look abit “So What !! We fudged the emissions on our cars and still can afford to be in F1!!”.
Not a positive media grab globally.


@ TomX Yes, badge engineering has been around for a very long time however, if i’m reading this right, then this goes far deeper that mere badging. AFAIK the sticking point for Audi/Porsche and Aston Martin Cosworth was the enormous cost of developing their own unique MGUH and the software to drive it all….amongst other things. F1 is supposed to be the ‘pinnacle in a development sense! When faced with this proposition some time back the manu’s rejected it out of hand, now, if Brawn is to be believed the manu’s will accept this new ruling. Pffft. If they do you can bet your sheep station that it is not what it seems. The stranglehold the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari have on Liberty is immense and this more or less confirms it. I am speculating here based on what has been published to date and it may well be totally different to my analysis. if so then maybe there is some light at the end of the tunnel and we may see some real competitive racing in the future….i’m far from convinced.


It’s getting more ridiculous by the day. What Liberty and the FIA need is a good old fashioned riot, like the French are doing ATM…and the Belgians…and the Swedes….


yep definitely get the ‘V is for Vendetta’ mask on and raise the skull and cross bow☠
but sadly you have a Frenchie Prime Minister type Macron figure, with old Napoleon complex in charge of the FIA.
He won’t leave his post unless somebody uses a high powered sonic trowel to prize his fingers off the FIA thrown LukeC . He has now ensconced himself firmly into a Sepp Blatter mode of operations. He won’t leave until the FEDS come a knocking one day.


At least we can comfort ourselves with the fact that nobody lives forever, so there is still some hope for the future.


What are “…to-stop races”?


Red flags, dude.


As usual from Pirelli, way over complicated. Just say there will be a soft, medium, and hard compound for each race. No idea what the C1-C5 is.


I would argue this is more confusing.

could they not have stuck roughly with the previous naming convention and gone for the following:

very/ultra/hyper soft
very/ultra/hyper hard


Why not just a simple progression that everyone understands:







@Axel/… Stilton and Cheddar are both too crumbly…Replace one of them with Parmesan/Parmigiano.


😂😂Axel Knutt that’s the best suggestion for tyre selection grades.
Maybe a test tyre for the ‘next season’ being tested ‘in season’ could be called
“Stinky Bishop” (yes to the rest of Globe its a cheese from England) as its an acquired taste.


Did you guys see, and hear, the new 6.5 litre v12 that will power Newey’s Aston Martin Valkyrie?

How come roadcars are allowed to have such amazing engines but f1 cars are not?

At least could they come to some kind of compromise and give us 3 litre v12s in f1?


With a name like that for a car LukeC…
I’m sure an ex SS officer (Or rich Rednecks and Grand Wizard from the backwaters of Mississpi or right wing organisation in Europe) must be pulling teeth out of cemeteries & grave yards of the rich, in South America.
To get as much gold ready to place an order…for a ‘cough’ Valkyrie !
Comical looking car that only a toupee wearing rich internet millionaire will be driving to a comic-con convention, in his Star Trek uniform.
Give me old school Jag mk2 or a Jenson Interceptor any day.


because F1 wants to be road car relevant … oh, you’ve just buggered that up AM


They tried so hard to be road relevant that they ended up being not.


that sound is recorded and manipulated for marketing purposes. why have they not built the car with the engine in it? until i see the complete car, i don’t believe they can build it.


Your comment was written for marketing purposes; the purpose being to make this PU situation in F1 seem less ridiculous than it really is.


Because Liberty and the FIA have nothing to do with it…….


Thank God.


I saw a piece on that today Luke, mega.

You just can’t beat a big fat N/A engine.


Indeed. This Valkyrie engine the kind automotive porn that f1 is a perfect platform to showcase.

Instead they turned F1 into a fuel saving parade for family hatchbacks that grandma drives to the local shops.

What a shame that we have this nonsense shoved down our throats. And what’s worse is the sheer arrogance of the FIA and the manufacturers to assume that all is fine and dandy, and that everybody will just get used to it.


@ Luke C …. On Friday i was at my local Audi dealership in Southport and whilst discussing a problem i was listening to the mech’s tuning an R8V10….what a sweet noise that was!!! Hard to explain adequately but it was reminiscent of great days gone by, like the passing of an old friend. hahaha


The murder of an old friend, to be more precise. He certainly didn’t pass on from natural causes.


*big big sigh*

So by ‘simplifying’ the tyre conundrum because us viewers find it ‘difficult’ to follow Pirelli have actually made it more complicated. Fans want to know what compound the drivers are running on, they couldn’t give a toss about a simple colour. So when Lewis bolts on the same colour as Seb or Max he could actually be on a different compound?

As Buzzz has already said what we fans want are tyres the drivers can race flat out on and not have to nurse them sometimes 10-15 seconds slower than normal.

I fear the tyres that Pirelli produce will yet again a major talking point for next season.


Really 2 would be better. Hard and soft.

I might be crazy but why not make sticky tires that can last the whole race? If there is no refueling why not?


If I understand correctly, the same colour will be the same compound for ALL drivers at a given race – it’s just that the same colour could be a different compound at the next race.


correct Kupo

Tornillo Amarillo

So when Lewis bolts on the same colour as Seb or Max he could actually be on a different compound?”

No, for each color = same compound, in EACH RACE.
In another race the same color could be a different compound.
I guess that could mess teams with strategies and data gathered in previous years.


No, the more powerful DRS that got snuck under the radar will be what we talk about.

That DRS will make Mercedes go to fast opening laps gap and race management from the front type of approach as well. Another reason why 2019 will return us to Mercedes domination.


Agreed, they’ll want to rattle through the wins as quickly as possible ahead of LH’s record breaking year in 2020 of reaching seven titles and 100+ wins. Genuinely wouldn’t be surprised to see LH win every race in 2019


Sebee, I don’t doubt that you eill talk about drs endlessly, but everyone else will be more interested in what happens on track….


Mercedes breaking DRS by end of lap 1 and controlling from the front it what will happen on track.

And oh…DRS happens on the track too TimW.


Sebee, it’s not so much that people’s predictions are wrong, it’s that they refuse to admit it…..


TimW, yes, I’m predicting Mercedes domination year in 2019. I do believe I stated this a few times.

If my prediction is wrong, it’s wrong. Do you and C63 have some kind of a fetish about how someone’s prediction is wrong while sitting safe and sound making no predictions of your own?

The risk of making a prediction is being wrong. The reward is being right. Either way, I get no prize. Just fun and filling time.


Sebee, so you’re predicting a return to 2014 to 16 levels of dominance by Mercedss? You don’t see Ferrari continuing their rate of progress? If your prediction proves to be incredibly wide of the mark, do you intend admitting you were wrong or will you come up with some nonsense about Mercedes losing on purpose again?


You think Seebee. You will just have to watch to find out.


Don’t worry, C63 is keeping track of my prediction in his comment tracker that his gorilla marketing firm has in Salesforce. He’ll confirm it for you. 🙂


@ Sebee…we don’t have to wait until 2020…it’s happening now. Tracked and bombed almost into oblivion!!!



The market for gorilla marketing is big and growing. Of course this being marketing, they have fancy nice names for it, like influencers.

There is this awesome movie from a few years back, “Ghosts with Shit Jobs:

It describes a future where we get paid for mentioning brands in conversation. Facebook already does the active listening. Is it a far stretch to think they extend their marketing program to face-to-face advertising and track our conversations, and reward the users for mentioning brands, which they track with the mentioned active listening? I don’t think we’ll have to wait till 2040 for it. I think Facebook will make that a reality by 2020.

What else happens in 2020? Oh yeah…Formula 1 formula doesn’t change at all. Mercedes pulls out of F1.


What is the market for gorillas like these days?

I thought the guerrillas shot them all?


No, they’d be on the same compound. The three compounds only change race to race.


#LM. Agree with the general rant but I think that if Lewis and Seb both bolt on the yellow wall it will be the same tyre compound , just not necessarily the same compound as last race. For the non technical I can see the idea. Dumming down or opening up the franchise ? You choose.


Who cares TomX? It’s just dumbed down that’s all but they do that in many other series.


#jdr. i care because I am a motor racing fan that loves F1 as a technical pinnical. Dumming down just makes it another racing series.


For years i have been saying that we should not have a Single tyre supplier. IMO no third party supplier should be able to dictate race results resulting from their selection of tyre choices. Why can’t it all be further simplified? For example why can’t we have two race tyres, hard and soft. The hard will do a complete race and the soft will go two thirds race distance. That would allow for simplified strategies and reduce the multiple pit stops that ruin the race rhythm and continuity. The third tyre would be a Quali tyre. No silly top ten Start on Q2 tyres etc et etc. That’s all garbage and does zip to the end results whatsoever. This farcical fooling with the fundamentals of racing in the endless quest for a US style of what they see as entertainment is just plain dumb.


Engineer results by selecting compounds the trailing team prefers.


Please not the tyre wars again..but do like the two compound idea.


@ TomX One supplier is one dimensional. The Fia should butt out of it and let two suppliers loose on the field. then we would at lest see some semblance of competition and surely better race tyres all round. Each manufacturer could supply the three tyres that i mentioned but undoubtedly they would be different. I recall Mark Webber saying when he had put a couple of WEC races together that he loved the Michelins as, in his opinion, they were real race tyres that he could ‘lean on’ and push for longer and longer.


Tyre wars led to Schumacher and Ferrari dominating last time. I personally don’t want to see a team dominate due to tyres, just as Mercedes dominated the first three years of the PU era.

Remove as many main causes for dominance is my wish. Equalise PUs and tyres, get rid of the over complicated aero, then let the teams build the best cars they can. Mandate two outsips per race in defined short windows to remove the banks of strategists that work to numbers.

In no way do I want single make racing though, and would love to see a return to cars that all look different (like in the 70s and most of the 80s).


@PaulD….yes, you are right to a certain degree. However, we now have one, and possibly, a half team domination so let’s not fool ourselves that it is all equal at the top of the tree. There will be no equalisation. That is simply a dream scenario and i’m not necessarily suggesting a pleasant dream here. If PU’s can be individually tailored to each team via their own development why can’t tyres, in general, also be judged by the same criteria? Tyres are simply another, albeit very specific, component. Do we have the same piston suppliers, brake suppliers? No. we have competition and IMO there should be the same criteria for tyres.


Kenneth the problem with two tyre suppliers is it can lead to one team domination. We saw this with Ferrari having Bridgestone working exclusively for them and tailoring their tyres purely to suit yhr Ferrari. This was a big factor in Ferrari winning five in a row between 2000 and 2004, what happens if Michelin came back for next year with a tyre half a second quicker than the Pirelli, and only supply Mercedes, Williams and Force India? Be careful what you wish for Kenny….



The Merc has been the dominant car since 2014. It is without a doubt the most dominant run in the history of the sport.


Luke, and what have you read that has made you think the Mercedes was a dominant car this year? Care to post a link so we can all see this alternative version of reality?


NickH, but you didn’t like 2007 and 2008 as much? I wonder why that could be….


2005 and 2006 were pretty good to me. And they weren’t having to drive to such extreme deltas to stretch out the tyres like we have now.


I watch and read enough to know exactly what is happening.

As far as subscription and going to races is concerned, that will no happen until f1 gets back to what it needs to be.


Luke, you really, really need to start watching the races, then you would have some idea of what’s actually happening in the sport.


One team domination? So what would be new?


#kenneth. Tyre wars gave us the 2005 usa gp. Two suppliers leads to the lowest common denominator . What I believe we need is the FIA giving a tyre spec that works rather than where we are now.


Tom, to be fair having two suppliers could have saved the day, it was only intransigence that prevented all the teams running Bridgestones and the event being saved.


@ TomX…not necessarily so. That was a singularly individual problem that arose there. Because of that one incident i don’t think that the concept should be dropped entirely. Michelin stated that they were up for it, even with the retention of another supplier but the FIA’s ridiculous rigging made it a financially non viable economic decision. They were totally correct. IIRC Pirelli were open to making tyres as specified by the FIA and not to real racing specifications as originally conceived by Michelin. A real racing tyre and not some confection of different flavored/coloured marsmallow tyres.


2 compounds would be a real change. Maybe not having to pit would be cool too because F1 cars didn’t used to have to pit.


Give the teams 250 sets for the entire season, 50 of C1, 50 of C2 etc. Then let them take whatever tyres they like to each event. Now that would really mix up the racing.


Manufacturing times, quality assurance and global logistics would all make your suggestion extremely difficult to implement.

Here is an alternative suggestion. In a 21 race season, all teams must add 5kg of ballast for 7 races, 10kg of ballast for 7 races and 0kg of ballast for all remaining races. Which races they take the ballast is at the discretion of the individual driver or team.


So by the end of the season teams could be hamstrung by tyres that are useless at the tracks left….. that’s not racing, that’s fakery.

Let the driversvrace each other on track, and flat out so they are likely to make mistakes.


Alexis, this is modern F1 we’re talking about. It would be 25 sets to cover 3 seasons. Teams can keep tyres for longer than that if they get flat spotted.


I’m with you Alexis. Let teams make decisions, not a huge company with a lucrative contract.

Tornillo Amarillo

I would let the same scheme of colors for 2019-2020, with an extended contract to Pirelli only.
Then an open bid for 2021-2024 or whatever.
Blocking Hankook and others until 2024 looks silly, pretending they could manufacture tires for 2020 and different ones for 2021 from then on.
As a fan, I detest being said that, example, yellow is a medium tire and in the next race again that yellow is the medium tire, when in reality they are different tires… Hello? Should we need an equivalence chart each weekend?
“Yellow – C2” or “Yellow – C3″… sounds more complicated than before…
It sounds also a little bit silly like playing the game “Battleship”…
Anyhow, we’ll play, we are used to…


What about red blue and green? Or yellow cyan and magenta?


formula one should allow team to work with pirelli about compound fitting or rim compound fitting.


Fan – your comments never make sense.


Why not make really durable tires that are able to last several races. Just give every team a set for the complete season and let them decide how to use them.
something like 70 sets for the season, depending on durablility.
Strategy will be important and using the right tire for the right track.
Pirelli could do the administrations and storage in between races.


I am not interested in tyre colours, I am not interested in the type of compound.

What I AM interested in is, are they making tyres that will enable the drivers to drive flat out !!!!!!!!!


You blaming tyres for PU fuel and milage preservation?

It’s not just tires that need to be saved. It is fuel, PUs, gearboxes, turbos, ERS…oh and yes, also tires.

Preservation is the name if the game, and the missing C to let you spell RACE from letters in “preservation” is what everyone seems to fail to see. But hey…Formula 1 is saving money(not), so there is that. Right?


Yeah Seebee racing not conservation is what we all want.


About time they got rid of tire blankets…waste of money and silly given these are the top drivers in the world… let them deal with cold tires. The 18″ wheels will make F1 look just like everything else, sign of the times but I liked the look of the 13″ wheels.


With 18″ rims that shouldn’t be a problem. Lay propane to them like Indy cars and the tires will stick.

It’s cooler looking too.


Yeah, 18″ will make Formula 1 cars relevant. Except even pickup trucks now ship with twenties. Even Toyotas roll on twenties.


It’s the profile, not the diameter that the tyre manufacturers wanted to change – all road cars pretty much have low profile tyres now.


I can’t think of one single road car that doesn’t have at least 15″ rims Seebee.

18″ rims will help. The tires now have massive unsprung weight. Not cool.


But 13s with fat rubber are an identifying feature of F1. Like no-halo open cockpit was. Like sound of sreaming engines was. Like no DRS was. Like no engine conservation was. Like no fuel flow limit was.

OK jdr, I see your point. This is Formula 1 in name only now.


Formula ONE Dimension….more to the point.


we should have tire handling 200 psi or 300 psi.


Fan = Avelli’s less intelligent sibling?


pauld = fan + one gold star.


Easy…he’s under high pressure.


less intelligent?


Where do C1 – C5 fall in hardness/softness relative to the Hard – Hypersoft tires of 2018? Do they cover the same range or a smaller range of hardness/softness?


Glad the ridiculous naming convention has been sorted out. Not at all glad that we still have this manufactured show. So very much over hearing about tyres. Make them last the full race. Stop forcing them to pit. Stop using pit strategy as a way to gain wins. Passes should be made on track. Drivers should not be nursing tyres the whole race. It’s a ridiculous situation to my eyes.

In other news, is anyone else watching the developments with Rich Energy with interest like I am? Highly amusing situation. I bet the RB team hate this guy with a passion. He’s going at them nose to nose and it’s going to be lots of fun watching how it all pans out.

Really looking forward to the old school Lotus style livery on the Haas next season. I really hope they do a good job with it as it could well be the best looking car on the grid next year. Although that said, the branding on the cans is pretty poor in my opinion.

But yeah, fun times ahead in the energy drinks in F1 world…


if I were Gene, I wouldn’t be buying the black and gold paint until I saw the money from Rich in the bank!

They do a lot of talking but that’s about all.


I hope Haas does well too. They got 5th this year with probably the smallest budget in F1. Imagine what they could do with more cabbage?


Two gripes today.

1. I don’t want to be discussing tyre compounds in F1. Give them two compounds per GP, with a small difference between them. Large operating window, and can be pushed on for the whole stint. Then forget about them just as I do on my road car. Tyres are dull.

2. The stupid front wings are being simplified, now get rid of barge boards and stupidly complicated floor slats. Bring back elegance.

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