Mario Isola says Pirelli’s tyre choices for this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix should open up a number of possibilities when it comes to strategy, with the Italian manufacturer bringing the Hypersoft, Ultrasoft and Soft compounds to the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
It is the third race of the season for the Hypersoft after Monaco and Canada, while for the fourth time in 2018, Pirelli have opted for a step in the compounds, with the Supersoft not being brought to Singapore in favour of the slightly harder Soft compound.
Isola, the Head of Car Racing at Pirelli, says the compounds can offer teams alternative options on how to attack the only true night race on the calendar, which in itself adds extra variables to the event.
“We’ve chosen the hypersoft for Singapore, which should open up a number of different possibilities for strategy, depending on the tyres chosen by each driver,” said Isola. “By factoring in a ‘step’ in the tyre nominations, we also hope to achieve evenly-spaced gaps between the performances of the different compounds.
“A number of different tactical permutations are possible, also influenced by safety cars and all the other unpredictable elements that come with a street circuit.
“From our point of view, although the lap is quite slow, the tyres have to cope with high ambient temperatures and humidity, a very high number of corners, and the usual hazards of a street circuit such as unforgiving barriers and variable grip.
“The fact that the race is run at night adds an extra variable to the usual calculations as well.”
Driver Tyre Choices
The championship contenders have gone very different ways with their tyre choices for the Singapore Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team-mate Valtteri Bottas going with only the six sets of the Hypersoft tyres as well as four Ultrasoft and three Soft sets, while Scuderia Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen going for nine sets of the Hypersoft, three sets of the Ultrasoft and only the single set of the Soft.
The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo have gone a different way again, with the duo selecting seven sets of the Hypersoft and three of both the Ultrasoft and Soft.