Pirelli’s Mario Isola: “Medium to hard was clearly the best strategy”

by Paul Hensby

Mario Isola heralded the battle between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton for the victory in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, feeling it was a ‘fantastic fight’ between two drivers at the top of their game and with nine Drivers’ Championship titles between them.

Both Scuderia Ferrari’s Vettel and Mercedes AMG Motorsport’s Hamilton were able to use the medium Pirelli tyre at the start and were able to switch to the hard tyre in their pit stop, a strategy that Isola, the Head of F1 and Car Racing at Pirelli, felt was the optimum strategy option.

Some others inside the top ten were able to get some good life out of the red-banded soft tyre, particularly Renault F1 Team’s Nico Hülkenberg who managed the tyre for sixteen laps and gained a position on Pierre Gasly as a result.

Some drivers managed to start the race on the hard compound and make good use of that, with both Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll using the hard-medium strategy to score points for Red Bull Racing and Racing Point F1 Team respectively.

“This was a fantastic fight between two champions with nine titles between them throughout the whole race: held in extremely hot conditions, with 52 degrees track temperature at the start,” said Isola.

“This obviously affected the soft compound most, while the thermal degradation on the medium was lower than expected. In general, the tyres stood up extremely well to the challenge, ensuring that nearly everybody stopped only once. Medium to hard was clearly the best strategy under these circumstances.

“The weather conditions also meant that drivers completing a long first stint on the hard were able to use this compound to good effect, with both Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll scoring valuable points after making their way up through the field.”

The tyre stints during the Canadian Grand Prix – Credit: Pirelli Motorsport

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