Pirelli’s Mario Isola: “That Was An Absolutely Thrilling And Absorbing Race”

Credit: Steve Etherington

Pirelli Motorsport’s head of car racing, Mario Isola, believes the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix delivered what Pirelli were wanting to see from the new season.

Sebastian Vettel held off Valtteri Bottas in the closing laps to win his second race of the season after nursing his soft compound tyres to the end.

Bottas in contrast was on the mediums and used the extra grip to close up to the Scuderia Ferrari but was unable to find a way past.

This was an absolutely thrilling and absorbing race, which delivered exactly what we hoped with this latest generation of tyres: many different strategies, close racing and an exciting finish with some of the best drivers in the world battling each other down to the final corner.” Said Isola.

Tyre management was absolutely key to Vettel’s victory, with the Ferrari driver making a new set of soft tyres last for 39 laps, which we never saw before here during the weekend.

Mercedes also made a one-stop strategy work by putting two cars on the podium when a two-stopper was theoretically quicker: this decision altered the entire complexion of the race and made for a thrilling conclusion.”

Arguably the star performer in Bahrain was Pierre Gasly and Isola passed on his congratulations as well as his best wishes to the Ferrari mechanic who was hurt in Kimi Raikkonen’s pit stop.

“Congratulations also to Pierre Gasly and Toro Rosso, and our best wishes for a speedy recovery to the Ferrari mechanic who was injured during their pit stop.”