Pirelli’s Mario Isola: “Important to take an open-minded approach to strategy” in Canada


Mario Isola believes teams could utilise different strategies in Canada this weekend - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Pirelli’s decision to bring the three softest compounds of tyre to the Canadian Grand Prix will open up the possibility of a variety of strategies, according to Head of Car Racing Mario Isola.

Isola points out the 2016 race at the circuit where Lewis Hamilton triumphed with only one visit to the pits, while Sebastian Vettel finished second having made two stops, which also saw the Scuderia Ferrari driver use all three compounds during the race.

With safety cars and variations in the weather often playing a part in races at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Isola feels teams should be more open-minded than usual when it comes to strategy calls, especially if getting tyres up to temperature is an issue.

“Montreal has many unique features, but with its smooth surface, it actually contains some similarities to Sochi,” admits Isola. “Last year the winner did one stop, while the second-placed driver made two stops using all three compounds, which just goes to show the very wide variety of strategies that are possible.

“Finding the right set-up, with the correct aerodynamic and mechanical balance, is never easy in Montreal: this is one of the key factors to making the tyres work effectively there.

“It’s also important to take an open-minded approach to strategy, given the variable weather and safety cars that are historically possible.”