Friday 1 December at 06:35 :
Dec.1 (GMM) Pirelli's softer new tyres for 2018 will open up new car design possibilities for F1 teams.
That is the claim of Mario Isola, the Italian tyre supplier's F1 chief.
This week, top drivers gave a thumbs up to Pirelli's all-new 'hyper soft' tyre for 2018, with next year's compounds also being softer across the range.
"The feedback from the drivers was positive and the hyper soft turned out to be 1 second faster than the ultra soft," Isola told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"The other compounds were a little closer together in performance than we expected, but it's not a problem because we are not obliged to bring similar compounds to the races and skipping a step will mean more flexible strategies," he added.
Isola also said Pirelli wanted to produce a tyre for 2018 that allows either one or two-stop strategies.
"We wanted to leave the door open for one stops, yes," he confirmed.
"We believe that these tyres will allow designers to be free to explore two schools of thought: making a car either very fast but hard on the tyres, or kinder with the tyres in order to exploit the softer compounds," Isola said.
He said the 2018 tyres have also been designed to reduce blistering, and be less sensitive to pressures and temperatures.