Pirelli’s Mario Isola insists the decision to bring the compounds of tyre they did to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was made well in advance, well before they realised they had chosen the wrong compounds.
The Supersfort, Soft and Medium compounds have been brought to the Baku Street Circuit this weekend, but Isola feels the decision not to bring the Ultrasoft has backfired, with drivers up and down the grid complaining about grip levels on all three compounds they are using in Azerbaijan.
Pirelli have to announce the choices of tyres they bring to European races nine weeks in advance of the race, and flyaway races fifteen weeks in advance, meaning they were chosen well before the knowledge of how the 2017 cars use their tyres was known for sure.
“There are some comments, ‘Pirelli is confused’,” said Isola in Azerbaijan. “We are not confused. We just have a better knowledge of our product, so we can make something that is a bit more aggressive or challenging.
“We have a certain number of weeks when we have to decide the compounds in advance. That is nine weeks for European events, 15 weeks for overseas events.
“When we decided the compounds for Baku we didn’t have a lot of information. So the only possible choice was something reasonable, that was medium, soft and super-soft.
“If I had to decide a compound for Baku now, it is clear that I’m not going to use a medium. You will see some races with a compound selection that – I don’t want to say makes no sense – but there is a story behind that.
“Don’t forget that if you see some races where we are still conservative, and some races where we are a bit more aggressive, it is because we had to decide some races quite in advance, and some races with more information.”