cool things with wheels since 2006
I think they've done the color coding for a while, having picked it up from Indycar but it hasn't been very useful. The difference is that for years they would have two types of tire compounds picked for each race of the season, these would differ depending on the circuit. Formula 1 requires both compounds be used in the race. So you could have a medium and a soft at one race, a super soft and a soft at another, etc. The race announcers would have to explain all of the time that 'this is the soft tire, but in the big scheme of things its really the medium compound, etc. etc. This way, you can see that in Monaco they're running ultras and softs, but in Bahrain they're running mediums and hard. Also its interesting when it rains to be able to tell who's running inters and who's running full wets.