Formula 1

Pirelli’s Mario Isola: The “weather forecast added to the strategic game” of French Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton leading the way - Formula 1
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

The threat of rain looked like it could shake up strategy during Sunday’s French Grand Prix, but most teams decided on a one-stop strategy for their drivers as the rain never arrived.

The majority of the grid opted for a one-stop race, but strategies varied greatly within this, with some drivers doing incredibly long stints on one set of tyres. Lance Stroll almost made it to the end of the race on his set before he got a puncture and was forced to retire.

Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas were both forced to do two pitstops after their collision early on in the race, but both recovered strongly, with Vettel finishing fifth and Bottas seventh.

Pirelli’s Mario Isola commented that the promise of rain did alter the strategic game of the race in that team’s had the added extra factor of not wanting to be caught on the wrong tyre.

“An uncertain weather forecast added to the strategic game today, with the risk of rain meaning that teams wanted to avoid the risk of getting caught out on the wrong type of tyre,” he commented.

“As it was, the rain didn’t actually materialise, but it was another potential factor to bear in mind. As expected this was a one-stop race for most drivers, but there was a wide variety of one-stoppers, including some very long stints on the soft tyres.

“We also saw Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas complete the race strongly with two very different two-stoppers, with Ferrari and Mercedes having split their strategies across each of their cars, reacting to the race circumstances. This confirmed our expectation that all three compounds were valid choices as part of an overall race strategy today, delivering a strong performance throughout.”

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