Pirelli “have a good idea of the performance differences” between 2018 tyres

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Pirelli Motorsport boss Mario Isola has said that Pirelli have a good understanding of the differences between the new and long-standing tyre compounds that will be used across the 2018 Formula 1 season.

Last week, Isola bemoaned the poor weather that tainted the first week of winter testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, he said that there was little in the way of representative running. However, with clearer skies, warmer temperatures and crucially no snow, Isola says that the Italians are happy with their understanding.

“From our side, we now also have a good idea of the performance differences between the compounds at this point of the season,” said Isola.

Additionally, Isola said that the difference between the new, pink-walled hyper-soft tyre and the ultra-soft compound is around 0.7 seconds, which is in line with their predictions and expectations.

“There is around 0.7 seconds between the ultra-soft and the hyper-soft, which corresponds to our expectations.

“After an uncertain start with bad weather last week, pre-season testing eventually turned out to be very productive with more representative conditions this week, just as we expected.”

The introduction of the hyper-soft, Formula 1’s softest ever compound has seen the all-time track record at Barcelona smashed by Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Räikkönen, Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz Jr. The newly re-surfaced track has also contributed to this factor.

Isola noted that all dry compounds of tyre, bar the ultra-hard, were in use over the course of testing, with teams satisfied with the data they have collected.

“The teams were able to comfortably complete more than 100 laps each per day,” he added.

“This has helped them to prepare for the season ahead and gather information on the 2018 tyre range.

“Of the P-Zero slick tyres, all the compounds were tried out from the hard to the new pink hyper-soft, with a new all-time lap record established on the hyper-soft. The biggest change was the fact that the track has been resurfaced this year, making it smoother with more grip.”

Thanks to the melting of Wednesday’s snow rare snowfall, Pirelli also managed to discover the crossover point from wet to dry tyres under natural conditions.

“During the final day of testing last week, wet conditions that eventually dried out enabled the teams to also assess the wet-weather tyres and crossover points.

“The next stop is the Australian Grand Prix, which will give us our first look at the 2018 tyres in a competitive context.”