Pirelli‘s Mario Isola believes the cooler weather in Malaysia (compared to usual temperatures) helped aid the long stints for the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix which saw Esteban Ocon complete 53 laps on one set of soft tyres.
“After practice was interrupted by weather and a red flag, the teams still had to fully calculate degradation rates over long runs, which was the main challenge today” said Isola after the race.
“In the end, track temperatures were relatively cool by Malaysia standards – around 40 degrees centigrade – and degradation was low on both compounds, so the stints were able to be stretched out.”
While most teams settled for the same strategy, Isola was excited by Sebastian Vettel‘s charge through the field which saw him running an opposite combination to most drivers.
“With all the frontrunners selecting similar one-stop supersoft-soft strategies, one of the highlights of the race was Vettel’s charge up the field from last, helped by an alternative strategy by starting on the soft.
“Force India’s Esteban Ocon was forced into an early stop following a puncture caused by contact with another car: he then ran all the way to the end on the soft tyre after pitting on lap three.”