Pirelli Motorsport boss Mario Isola has said that Pirelli will bring a “more aggressive” selection of tyre compounds for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, after admitting that they were too conservative last year.
Isola explained that the change in tyre regulations for 2017 left Pirelli guessing and saw the medium compound go unused throughout the course of the weekend. For 2018, the Italian tyre giants have overlooked the white walled mediums, choosing to bring the ultra-soft, super-soft and softs to Baku.
The Azeri race has been brought forward from its June dates in 2016 and 2017, and early weather forecasts suggest cooler ambient and therefore track temperatures for the weekend ahead.
“The Azerbaijan Grand Prix should have quite a different look to it this time,” said Isola.
“It’s being held two months earlier and presumably presenting a contrast to last year in terms of weather conditions, when track temperatures peaked at more than 50 degrees centigrade.
“Last year, we felt that we were a little too conservative with the tyre nomination in Azerbaijan, in the first year of the new tyre regulations, as the medium wasn’t really used.”
Isola added that he is optimistic about the tyre choice, believing that it will follow Bahrain and – most pertinently – China‘s variance in strategies between the teams at the front and back of the field.
“So, we felt that this year we had scope to be a little more aggressive with the nominations,” he explained.
“This should lead to all three compounds being used as realistic race options, and some inventive race strategies, as we saw at the last two grands prix in Bahrain and China.”
Pirelli are expected to give a race weekend debut to their new, pink-walled hyper-soft compound in Monaco next month.