Pirelli bringing Ultrasoft compound to Russia for the first time


Pirelli are bringing the Ultrasoft tyre to Russia for the first time - Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The Ultrasoft Pirelli compound makes its race debut this weekend at the Sochi Autodrom, and Mario Isola is hoping its introduction will make for an exciting weekend in Russia.

Pirelli’s Head of Car Racing believes that all three compounds they will bring to Russia – the Ultrasoft, Supersoft and Soft – will all potentially be used by teams during the weekend due to them being relatively close together in performance, meaning strategy calls could be interesting on Sunday.

Isola is also interested to see how the progress made by teams during the opening three races of the year and in the first in-season test translates into performance in Russia.

“The race follows a two-day test in Bahrain, so it will be interesting to see how the lessons learned there translate into on-track performance and tyre management in Russia,” said Isola. “On the face of it, with Sochi being a low-severity circuit and more durable tyres this year, it should be a relatively straightforward one-stop race.

“However, this is the first time we are going there with the Ultrasoft tyre, so the effect that it has together with the new generation of cars remains to be seen. The performance gap between the softest compounds is relatively small, so all three choices are potential race tyres in Sochi.”