Pirelli believe Formula 1 could drop into the 1:18s before pre-season testing concludes next week.
Pre-season testing began on Monday at the Circuit de Catalunya with a pace-setting 1:21.765 from Lewis Hamilton.
Kimi Raikkonen took over at the sharp end on Day Two with a 1:20.960.
Such has been the pace shown already that Pirelli are expecting lap record times come next Friday’s final day of testing.
Pirelli F1 racing manager Mario Isola told Motorsport.com: “In my opinion, we should be around 1:18s – so you will have to come back on the last day and see if I am right or wrong.”
And with 1:18s in testing, Isola says Formula 1 could look forward to even faster times come May’s Spanish Grand Prix.
He added: “The race is difficult [to predict] because Barcelona is the first race where a lot of teams introduce new parts and updates, so they will probably have a step.
“So if we have 1:18s in qualifying simulation at the end of the test – during the race we will be in that range…”