Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Pirelli’s Mario Isola: “The Red Bull Ring is a circuit where tyres get no rest”

Mario Isola says drivers will need to work hard to manage their tyres this weekend at the Red Bull Ring so not to overheat them, with the roughness of the track and the quickness of a lap giving them little to no rest.

Lap times in dry Qualifying conditions will be a little over a minute long, the shortest lap time on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship calendar, and driving around ten corners in such little time puts a lot of strain on Pirelli’s tyres.

Isola, the Motorsport Director at Pirelli, says getting good traction and braking are key elements of getting a good lap time on the board around the Spielberg track, but managing the tyres to avoid overheating is also important.

“The Red Bull Ring is a circuit where tyres get no rest,” said Isola.  “The cars race through the track’s 10 corners in a lap time of just over a minute, and the few straights mean that there is little reprieve for the tyres.

“The asphalt has a fairly high micro and macro roughness, due to the age of the surface, while grip is high at the start of the lap. Traction and braking are key elements, while particular attention will have to be paid to managing tyre overheating.

“Drivers who manage not to cool their tyres properly may find it difficult to defend against attacks from rivals, especially in the first and last sectors.”

Isola also says the ambient temperature in Austria could affect the weekend, and he predicts either a one or two stop strategy come Sunday afternoon, depending on degradation levels.

“An important factor in this will be ambient temperature, with weather conditions traditionally somewhat variable,” he added.  

“Last year’s race was largely a two-stopper using the medium and hard compounds, but a one-stopper could also be an option this year if degradation is not too high.”