Pirelli predict 1.5 second fall in lap times

Date published: January 12 2018

Pirelli chief Mario Isola has predicted that average lap times will continue to tumble in 2018 due to the combination of developed cars and softer tyre compounds.

The new aerodynamic regulations introduced for the 2017 season saw a massive five second drop in lap times as drivers were able to carry much more speed through the corners.

And now Isola is expecting another substantial fall in 2018 which will see track records being broken once again.

“The Hypersoft in Abu Dhabi was one second quicker than the Ultrasoft so it’s quite an extreme compound,” said Isola at Autosport International.

“I don’t like to call it a qualifying compound as it was developed to be used also on some street circuits or low severity circuits.

“I would like to see the Hypersoft in some races this year, Monaco is probably the race where we’re going to use it for the first time.

“In terms of lap times, we will have faster lap times this year, because we should consider the development of the car that is probably roughly one second per lap as an average.

“Plus the fact that especially at the beginning of the season we are planning to use softer compounds [compared to 2017], so in my expectation we should be quicker compared to last year by 1.5s per lap by average, it’s a lot, it’s another big step.”

Elaborating further on the hypersoft tyres, Isola said that the extreme nature of the compound means they will be have to be careful about where they introduce it.

He added: “The performance is great but also the degradation will be high, it’s the normal trade-off between performance, degradation and wear.

“The degradation in Abu Dhabi was quite high, it’s accepted as it’s a very soft compound and that’s why we are taking three compounds to each event.”