Formula 1

Pirelli’s Mario Isola: “There are still a few question marks tonight”

1 Mins read
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Pirelli Motorsport boss Mario Isola believes that Friday’s running at the French Grand Prix has been inconclusive in terms of indicating tyre performance for this weekend.

Isola said that a mix of ever-changing winds, numerous red flag periods and a new circuit for Formula 1 in the Circuit Paul Ricard means that “a few question marks” still linger going into Saturday. But, as warm weather greeted the return of the French race, Isola’s surprise came from the performance shown by the ultra-soft tyre, the middle compound that Pirelli has brought to the weekend.

“With a brand-new circuit, changing wind directions, cooler conditions expected tomorrow and also some red flag interruptions today, there are still a few question marks tonight,” said Isola.

“We’ve seen very high track temperatures in excess of 50 degrees, which obviously favour the higher working range tyres on the harder end of the selection.

“However, the ultra-soft has shown plenty of performance as well,” he added. “So we have all three different compounds that look viable as part of a potential race strategy.”

He remained cautious on making any firm predictions, instead opting to wait for the results of Saturday’s early afternoon third Free Practice session.

“Exactly what that strategy will be depends on the result of the data analysis, which will continue after FP3 tomorrow,” he said.

“But the situation will as usual become clearer as the weekend goes on.”

Encouragingly, Pirelli have not seen any graining on the front tyres – an area that Isola highlighted. The Italian tyre giants have reintroduced the somewhat controversial modified tyre formula first seen at the Spanish Grand Prix, featuring a reduced tyre tread by o.4mm.

“As this is a new track, which places particular emphasis on the front tyres, it was important to see if there would be any issues with blistering or graining, but nothing of the sort has been observed so far.”

776 posts

About author
DTM, Formula 1 writer and deputy editor for The Checkered Flag. Autosport Academy member and freelance voice over artist.
Articles
Related posts
Formula 1

PREVIEW: 2024 FIA Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix

2 Mins read
Formula 1 heads to Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend! Mercedes are in form, but Verstappen and Norris will be fighting back. Tight midfield battles are heating up too as the Hungaroring challenges teams and drivers. Read our preview to find out more ahead of the weekend!
Formula 1

RB vs Haas: The Battle for Sixth

5 Mins read
With the F1 season halfway through, the fight for sixth in the Constructors’ Championship is intensifying between Visa Cash App RB and MoneyGram Haas F1 Team. Haas’ recent resurgence, fueled by car upgrades and strong driver performances, has closed the gap on RB who are struggling with a problematic upgrade package. The battle is set to be thrilling, with potential driver changes adding another layer of intrigue.
Formula 1

3 Talking Points from the 2024 British Grand Prix

4 Mins read
The 2024 British Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton return to the top step for the first time since 2021, but what other talking points came from the weekend? We discuss Mercedes’ resurgence, Lando Norris’ missed opportunity, and Sergio Perez’s growing pressure.