Pirelli’s 2018 development program will rely, just like was the case last season, on the participation of all Formula One teams. Instead of collaborating with just the sport’s front-running outfits as had been the case in 2016, Pirelli brought every team into its test program last season, which proved to helpe F1’s exclusive supplier develop two new compounds for the 2018 championship.
And now the situation will be repeated this year, as confirmed by Pirelli racing manager Mario Isola: “It is very similar, we already made and agreed a plan” – Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola said, as reported by ESPN – “All the teams are willing to support us so it will be quite similar to last year, the 10 teams running one two-day dry session each. Plus a few teams running on wet – wet is quite particular and more difficult to organise so we have some days dedicated to intermediate and wet with different teams. It’s done and agreed, we gave the information to all the teams and agreed with the FIA. It helps us and it helps [the teams], so it makes sense.” – Mario Isola explained.
Last year’s development program has resulted in Pirelli offering a softer overall range of tyres in 2018 as F1’s exclusive supplier departs from a conservative approach and offers more flexibility in its choices: “We have been a bit conservative, we know this. Better like this. We didn’t want to take too much risk to be on the other side. We knew the changes [needed]. This year we are going on step softer with all the compounds plus the hyper-soft that at this point is two steps softer than the ultra-soft last year. So it is quite a complete range of compounds and this gives us the possibility to give us a better choices, better selection for each event. In Montreal, for example, we are going soft, super-soft and ultra-soft — compare to last year is super, ultra and one step softer. So we are already one step more aggressive. Then there is all the discussion about one-stop, two-stop, three-stop, but this is a different talk. It is going to be better for the teams and that’s the most important thing.” – Pirelli racing manager Mario Isola concluded.