Qualifying and Safety Car Dictated Canadian GP Strategy Calls – Pirelli


Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Mario Isola felt strategy was dictated by Qualifying on Saturday at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, while the early safety car ensured a one-stop strategy was the quickest way to run the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Only two drivers – Sergio Pérez and Stoffel Vandoorne – pitted more than once, although there were variations in tyre choice during the race, with all three compounds brought to Montreal – the Hypersoft, Ultrasoft and Supersoft – were chosen by various drivers at the start.

Pirelli Motorsport’s Head of Car Racing says the low wear and degradation of the tyres made the one-stop the desired option, although there were drivers who were able to use strategy to make gains during the race, most notably Daniel Ricciardo from sixth to fourth, and Romain Grosjean from twentieth to twelfth.

“The strategy was really dictated by qualifying yesterday, with the early safety car period here also ensuring that a one-stopper became the way to go, on top of the low wear and degradation seen on this track generally,” said Isola.

“All three nominated compounds were used extensively during the race, with different thinking on strategy all the way down the grid. A number of drivers, notably Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Haas driver Romain Grosjean were able to use strategy to boost their grid positions.”

Moving away from the tyres, Isola feels the result of the race in Montreal bodes well for the championship, with race winner Sebastian Vettel now heading Lewis Hamilton by a single point heading to the French Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

“The championship has now taken another twist, which makes it even more interesting as we head next to a completely new venue at Paul Ricard in France,” concluded Isola.