Hypersoft tyre delivering one second per lap advantage over Ultrasoft - Pirelli

Pirelli says its newest tyre, the pink-walled Hypersoft, is delivering a laptime gain of around one second over the Ultrasoft tyre, which during the 2017 season was its softest compound.

Pirelli introduced the purple Ultrasoft compound in 2016 in response to claims its Supersoft compound was too hard, but with teams getting better at tyre management and the new-for-2017 wider tyres lasting longer than anticipated, the tyre supplier has introduced the Hypersoft, which will become its softest compound in the range next year.

Although it's likely to be used mainly at street circuits, where the average speed is lower and therefore degradation isn't such an issue, Pirelli has been testing it this week at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina circuit where Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton declared it "the best tyre Pirelli have made".

Pirelli's head of motorsport Mario Isola, says it's delivering huge gains of around a second per lap compared to its former softest tyre.

"We completed a record-breaking 2017 season, featuring 25% wider tyres and some of the fastest lap times ever seen, with two intense days of work at Abu Dhabi, during which the teams sampled the 2018 tyres for the first time.

"The whole test and all the drivers gave us very positive feedback," said Isola. "The new Pink hypersoft meets our initial expectations, with times that are about a second per lap faster than the Purple ultrasoft, but this obviously needs to be confirmed on other types of track as well.

"All the 2018 tyres are a step softer than this year’s equivalents, in line with what the teams asked for, with the Pink hypersoft being two steps softer than the 2017 ultrasoft. We now look forward to getting back on track for the first official pre-season test of 2018 at Barcelona from February 26 to March 1”