Saturday, July 20, 2024

Pirelli’s Mario Isola: “The three compounds we chose to bring here were the right ones”

Mario Isola felt the new Alternative Tyre Allocation (ATA) that Pirelli Motorsport introduced during the Hungarian Grand Prix appeared to work well, but another test of the system will take place at the beginning of September during the Italian Grand Prix weekend.

Drivers were only allocated eleven sets of tyres during the weekend at the Hungaroring opposed to the usual thirteen sets, and they were locked into using the hard compound tyre during Q1 in Saturday’s Qualifying session, the medium in Q2 and the soft in Q3.  It presented drivers with different challenges throughout the weekend, and it saw a more mixed up grid than usually seen.

Isola, the Motorsport Director at Pirelli, felt the sole tyre manufacturer of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship also opted for the right mix of compounds for the weekend in Hungary, with the soft, medium and hard all playing their part in Sunday’s race.

“It was a very interesting weekend which saw a trial of a new tyre allocation format, as well as evaluating bringing a trio of compounds one step softer than in the past,” said Isola.  

“As for the ATA, first and foremost, it should be pointed out that it will be trialled again at Monza this coming September, on a track with completely different characteristics to this one and the data will be analysed very carefully.

“Apart from that, I’d say the two salient points from this weekend were that yesterday’s qualifying was more unpredictable than usual, because it presented the drivers with new challenges: the need to adapt quickly to the change of compound and the fact that having two sets of each compound for the race introduced greater flexibility in terms of strategy.

“The fact that all the drivers made two stops in very hot conditions with a track temperature that was 53 degrees at the start, with no high degradation problems confirms that the three compounds we chose to bring here were the right ones, given that four drivers even used the Soft for their first stint, showing that it was not out of the question to race with it.”

Isola says he expects another exciting show this coming weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, the final race before the summer break and the third of six sprint race weekends this season.

“Now we come to the final round before the summer break, at Spa-Francorchamps, one of the most fascinating tracks on the calendar, with totally different characteristics to those of the Hungaroring, both in terms of its layout and when it comes to the sort of weather we can expect,” he said.

“Belgium will be the third round of the season to feature the Sprint format, which should ensure an even more exciting show.”