Pirelli’s Mario Isola: “We’ve fulfilled most of the objectives that we had targeted”


Pirelli enjoyed a successful testing programme in Spain - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Mario Isola, recently appointed Pirelli Motorsport’s Head of Car Racing, says the majority of the objectives that were laid out before pre-season testing were completed, and he was delighted with the results.

With teams focused prominently on working on performance and race simulation, every compound available to the teams were tested at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Kimi Raikkonen setting a best time of 1:18.634 on the final morning on the Supersoft compound.

“During the eight days of pre-season testing, we’ve fulfilled most of the objectives that we had targeted,” said Isola. “This week we confirmed the results of last week’s test, particularly with regard to the fast recovery of the tyres if they overheat, which was a particular wish of the drivers for the 2017 compounds.

“Compared to the general work we saw last week these last four days were more geared towards performance and race simulation in preparation for the season ahead.”

Isola feels that the cars have yet to reach their maximum potential, but Pirelli advances with their tyres have virtually matched the significant decrease in lap time that had been requested by the FIA, with Raikkonen’s best time in testing was more than three-seconds faster than the pole time seen in 2016.

“While the cars are yet to perform at their maximum potential, we saw the fastest-ever lap of Barcelona in the circuit’s current configuration this week, beating last year’s pole by more than three seconds and the 2015 pole by more than six seconds,” said Isola.

“The target of being five seconds faster than the 2015 times in Barcelona was already met last week and now that benchmark has been lowered further.

“Considering that many of the best times were set on compounds that are not particularly suited to Barcelona, and that the cars are sure to evolve rapidly over the course of the season, this indicates the phenomenal potential performance of the new generation of Formula 1, which we can say produces the fastest cars that the sport has ever seen.”