Mario Isola, Head of Car Racing:
We completed a record-breaking 2017 season, featuring 25% wider tyres and some of the fastest lap times ever seen, with two intense days of work at Abu Dhabi, during which the teams sampled the 2018 tyres for the first time.
Each team had 20 sets for the test: 12 sets chosen by Pirelli (with a selection of 2018 tyres plus some 2017 tyres for comparison) and the other eight selected by the teams themselves. In total, 23 different top drivers did some long runs as well, so not in qualifying conditions. The characteristics of the Yas Marina circuit meant the test concentrated on the compounds from White medium to the Pink hypersoft. The whole test and all the drivers gave us very positive feedback.
The new Pink hypersoft meets our initial expectations, with times that are about a second per lap faster than the Purple ultrasoft, but this obviously needs to be confirmed on other types of track as well. All the 2018 tyres are a step softer than this year’s equivalents, in line with what the teams asked for, with the Pink hypersoft (just added to the range) so being two steps softer than the 2017 ultrasoft. We now look forward to getting back on track for the first official pre-season test of 2018 at Barcelona from February 26 to March 1”.