Isola: Tyres reacted well to “challenging” French GP heat

by James Eagles
Mario Isola - 2019 French GP

Pirelli Motorsport boss Mario Isola reported that the 2019 Formula 1 tyres fared well in “extremely challenging conditions” at Circuit Paul Ricard.

The French Grand Prix was another one-stop affair, with most drivers starting on the medium tyres before switching to hards at their sole stops.

The softest compound brought to the race, the C4, was used rarely – Alfa Romeo Racing‘s Antonio Giovinazzi and Red Bull Racing‘s Pierre Gasly started on the red-walled tyres due to setting their fastest Q2 time on the compound and failed to hold or improve on their starting positions in the race.

Sebastian Vettel used the soft tyres for the final three laps to take the extra point for fastest lap, with his fifth place secure from danger.

Track temperatures peaked at 54C in the race, the hottest of the weekend, with wear and degradation following Pirelli’s expected trends.

“The French Grand Prix was a demonstration of the impressive way that all the cars have gained speed compared to last year, in track temperatures that were among the hottest that we have raced in,” said Isola.

“Nonetheless, the majority of drivers stopped only once, with the medium-hard strategy that we predicted as fastest proving to be the most popular choice.

Valtteri Bottas - Formula 1 - 2019 French GP
Credit: Pirelli Motorsport

The tyres stood up well to what were extremely challenging conditions, not just because of the high temperatures but also because of the extensive track evolution over the course of the weekend.”

The end of F1’s first double-header of the season will be at Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, where Pirelli will use the same tyre selection – the C4, C3 and C2 combination.

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