Pirelli's Mario Isola believes that, based on what was seen in testing, it is "probable" that by the end of the season the cars will be quicker than in 2021.
The 2022 got underway with Pirelli's new 18-inch tyres. An initial three days of testing took place in ambient temperatures that ranged from six to 21 degrees centigrade, while track temperature varied between seven and 31 degrees.
The drivers ran on a dry track for the first two days as well as the morning of the third day, while on Friday afternoon the surface was artificially dampened in order to test the wet-weather tyres.
The fastest overall time of the test was set by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who did a 1:19.138 in the last few laps on Friday.
"We can be pleased with how the three days went," said Mario Isola, "which of course represented the debut of our 18-inch tyres, with all the tyre testing up to now having been carried out using only mule cars.
"The teams and drivers focussed on gaining confidence with the new models and finding the best possible set up, so it's too early to talk about the performance gap between the compound or degradation levels. This explains why the C2 and C3 compounds in the middle of the range, which are most often used here in Montmelo, were run more often than the others during the test.
"Setting the fastest flying lap obviously wasn't the main objective," he admits, "but we still saw some interesting lap times; around a second off the quickest race lap from last year's Spanish Grand Prix.
"This makes it probable that these cars will end up even faster than their predecessors by the end of the season."
Check out our testing galleries here.