Pirelli's 2018 test programme to follow 2017 blueprint

Sutton Images

This year's Pirelli tyre test schedule will follow an almost identical format to last year, with all 10 teams signed up to run across the season.

Pirelli used an extensive test schedule during last season to work on its compounds for the 2018 campaign, which helped the Italian manufacturer add two new tyres -- the super-hard and hyper-soft -- to either end of its current range. That marked a change from the previous year, when only Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari ran mule cars to test the wider 2017 compounds ahead of their introduction.

Having used last year's expanded schedule to make necessary improvements to its current range, Pirelli racing chief Mario Isola is happy the teams have agreed to repeat in 2018.

"It's very similar, we already made and agreed a plan," Isola told 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."

Isola says last year's test helped Pirelli shift its mindset towards making more favourable selections at race weekends.

"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's 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."