Pirelli Expecting ‘Strategy Improvisation’ during Australian GP


Max Verstappen will start on the Supersoft compound on Sunday
Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Pirelli Motorsport’s head of car racing, Mario Isola, feels teams will have learned a lot about the tyres this weekend around the Albert Park circuit, thanks to the different weather conditions at the track this weekend.

Pirelli brought the Soft, Supersoft and Ultrasoft compounds to Australia for the opening round of the season, and all three have seen track action, as has the Intermediate and Full Wet compounds, thanks to the wet final practice on Saturday morning.

Isola still feels there will be some uncertainty within all of the teams heading into Sundays race, and it could offer some variety to strategy calls, particularly if the unsettled weather intervenes again.

“Rain earlier on in the day washed the track clean of rubber and also allowed the teams to look at crossover points from full wet to slick,” said Isola. “More rain is expected overnight, adding another interesting variable to the first race of the season.

“Each of the compounds we brought to Melbourne has been used so far, meaning that teams have a wide range of data, but not necessarily targeted towards a specific scenario.

“So, there will inevitably be some element of strategy improvisation tomorrow, depending on the race circumstances.”

Isola is particularly interested to see how Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s idea of starting both Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo on the Supersoft compound will play out, with the rest of the top ten qualifiers all set to start on Ultrasofts.

“We’ve already seen some alternative thinking on tactics from Red Bull, which has chosen to start the race on the supersoft: it’s going to be interesting to see how this will play out,” admitted Isola.