Formula 1

Pirelli’s Isola: Tyres a key player in thrilling Austrian GP

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2019 Austrian Grand Prix start - Formula 1
Credit: Pirelli Motorsport

Pirelli Motorsport boss Mario Isola has said that all three tyre compounds brought to the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix impacted a “thrilling race”.

Pirelli chose the same three dry compounds it took to the previous round in France, the C2, C3 and C4 selection, as track temperatures consistently hit and exceeded 50C at the Red Bull Ring – the hottest of the 2019 season so far and around 20C above average.

Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen won the race after a dramatic fightback from a poor start, passing Charles Leclerc – who had led the majority of the 71-lap race – in forceful fashion on lap 68 to take the first non-Mercedes AMG Motorsport victory of the season.

Verstappen started on medium compound tyres, and stretched his opening stint longer than the other frontrunners, before moving on to the hard tyres on lap 31.

Max Verstappen - Formula 1 - 2019 Austrian GP
Credit: Pirelli Motorsport

Some of the top 10 starters, including Scuderia Ferrari‘s Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, were forced into using the soft tyres to begin the race having set their best time on the compound in Qualifying 2.

Isola said that Pirelli was satisfied with the performance of all compounds in the intense heat and traction-heavy demands of the Red Bull Ring, and praised Verstappen and Leclerc for excellent performances.

“We had a thrilling race all the way to the finish, with a fantastic battle between two of the most exciting and talented young drivers in the sport,” said Isola.

Congratulations to both Max and Charles for two great drives.

From a tyre perspective, we were satisfied with the performance of all three compounds, which each played an important part in the race, despite the hottest track temperatures seen all year.

Nonetheless, nearly all the drivers completed just one stop, while Lando Norris in sixth didn’t even use the hardest compound.”

Pirelli concluded the Austrian weekend with a two-day 2020-spec tyre test in collaboration with Alfa Romeo Racing, after the team scored its first double points finish of the season.

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