Pirelli has admitted that its expectations have been met despite an interrupted first week of testing. Teams were limited to effectively three days of running after snow heavily disrupted proceedings on the third day of the test.
Temperatures were low all week in Barcelona, in what was an unorthodox Formula 1 test. With Pirelli introducing two new tyre compounds for the season ahead, it was keen to get some mileage on them. Although conditions were far from ideal, the Italian marque was happy with the results.
"Conditions were cold and unrepresentative throughout the first test," commented Mario Isola, Pirelli's head of car racing. "Especially on Wednesday, where the running was practically zero following snowy weather. Having said that, on the first day the fastest times were already faster than those set on the same compound during the equivalent test last year.
"On the second day the fastest time beat the overall fastest time from the same test in 2017. This is down to a number of factors," he continued, saying it wasn't all down to the tyre performance. "Including the new, smoother track surface that was laid recently, as well as the natural performance evolution of the 2018 cars.
"Conditions on Thursday also made it possible to assess the crossover points from wets to intermediates to slicks, which is important information. While it is hard to draw any firm conclusions from this particular test, the behavior of the tyres demonstrates a general increase in performance that is line with our expectations."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing