Having run their new intermediate tyres for the first time at a race weekend in Shanghai, Pirelli have declared that they are significantly quicker.
This season Pirelli rolled out new wider tyres but also improved on the compound of their wet and intermediate rubber.
Those were given a brief run in Shanghai on Friday in a weather-interrupted FP1.
Max Verstappen set the pace on the inters with a 1:50.491, which despite the Red Bull driver covering only four laps, was considerably up on last year’s intermediate tyres.
“Today [Friday] was the GP debut for our 2017-specification wet and intermediate tyres,” explained Mario Isola, Pirelli’s head of F1. “We also have a wet-weather tyre in a different compound with the target of providing more grip.
“Its test wasn’t particularly significant due to the lack of running.
“However, we did see a fastest time from Max Verstappen that was seven seconds faster than the intermediate tyre in China last year.”