Pirelli Motorsport is bringing the same three compounds of tyre to the Red Bull Ring this weekend as they did seven days ago at the Circuit Paul Ricard, and Mario Isola feels there should be many different options when it comes to strategy this Sunday.
For the Austrian Grand Prix, Pirelli’s C2 tyre will act as the hard compound this weekend, with the C3 the medium and the C4 the soft, with this combination the same as it was in France, as well in three other races of 2019 in Australia, China and Azerbaijan.
Isola, the Head of F1 and Car Racing at Pirelli, says confidence will be key this weekend, as well as a good set-up, to get the most out of the tyres, but he does believe the pit strategies will vary thanks to the variety of compounds available.
“Like last year, we have exactly the same nomination for Austria as we had for France, with the races again separated by only one week, at the same time of year,” said Isola. “The difference is that the 2019 compounds are more evenly spaced, which should encourage more varied pit stop strategies and better racing.
“Austria is an unusual track, with lots of blind corners and unpredictable elements such as weather and traffic. This means that plenty of confidence, as well as exactly the right set-up, is needed to get the best out of the tyres on this short track and maximise all the different opportunities that present themselves; also in terms of strategy.”
Isola says he is confident the 2019 specification of tyre will prevent the same kind of level of blistering that has affected drivers on race day at the Red Bull Ring in recent years. Drivers up and down the field encountered blistering and reduced tyre life in 2018, but Isola does not believe the same will happen this season.
“Spielberg is a circuit where we have always had some blisters in the past; we are confident that we will see a difference this weekend with the 2019-specification tyre,” he said.