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

"Jeddah is probably the biggest unknown we face all year" - Pirelli's Mario Isola

2 Mins read
Pirelli are getting ready to face potentially their biggest challenge yet this season, as Formula One builds-up to the first-ever Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Formula 1GB3

Juffali named Official Ambassador for Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

1 Mins read
Douglas Motorsport’s GB3 driver Reema Juffali will be an Official Ambassador for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this weekend. Formula 1 takes to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in her home city; the 29-year-old will also get a taste of F1 machinery.
Formula 1

Current Williams Team Principal Jost Capito Pays Tribute to Sir Frank Williams

2 Mins read
Current Williams CEO and Team Principal Jost Capito, as well as current Williams drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, have paid tribute to the teams founder Sir Frank Williams, who has passed away aged seventy-nine.