Monday 20 March at 08:35 :
Mar.20 (GMM) Ferrari is on the cusp of returning to the top in formula one.
That is the view of Mario Isola, who is taking over from Paul Hembery as the most prominent F1 figure representing the sport's official tyre supplier Pirelli.
He thinks the Italian marque has succeeded in making new, wider tyres that will contribute to this year's cars being much faster and more challenging to drive.
"Last year, the cars were reaching forces of 4G, but now we're measuring figures at about 6G, so we can say that the new racing cars are nearly fighter planes," Isola smiled to Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I am sure the drivers will be tired at the end of the race which could lead to errors and opportunities for opponents to mount an attack."
But apart from that, Isola admits that the greater downforce could actually make overtaking more difficult.
"Yes. We have more durable tyres and more downforce, so we will see less tyre changes and the drivers will find it harder to follow a rival closely.
"But I want to emphasise the positive aspect," he insisted. "We will experience less overtaking moves, but the fans will feel that these overtaking moves will be more real."
Finally, Isola was asked about Ferrari, and the fact that the new regulations appear to have worked out well for the Maranello team.
"I don't know that, but it is clear to me that Ferrari is in good shape," he said.
"Even if it is normal that we don't see everything in the tests, I do believe that we have recognised in Barcelona the people that are strong.
"Personally, I would like to see a more complex fight for the world championship, and not just with Ferrari but also Red Bull and even an outsider like Williams," added Isola.