Pirelli Motorsport are happy with the performance of their tyres after the first two practice sessions of the Brazilian Grand Prix today.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen set the fastest time of 1:09.011 in the first practice session on the new Supersoft compound, with the top three being covered by 0.096 seconds.
The second session saw Valtteri Bottas fastest ahead of Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team-mate Lewis Hamilton with a time of 1:08.846, again on the Supersoft tyres, with the top three even closer with 0.073 seconds.
“As usual, it was very close at Interlagos, meaning that just the smallest mistake or adjustment could result in quite a big difference.” said Pirelli Head of Car Racing Mario Isola.
“The same applies to the strategy too, which can make a real difference when everything else is so closely-matched.
“At the moment, it’s hard to make any predictions about the competitive order here, but the tyres are reacting as we expected them to.”
Heading in to the weekend there was some concerns of blistering, and while there was some signs of degradation, Pirelli were happy with the outcome from the two sessions.
“We’ve not seen any cases of excessive degradation – only some blistering that didn’t affect performance – even though the lap times are nearly a second faster than their equivalents last year.
“Teams were using quite varied run plans during both sessions today, so it’s going to beinteresting to see whether or not that translates into a few different strategies on Sunday.”