Pirelli’s Mario Isola: “Strategy is likely to be at the forefront of the German Grand Prix”

by Paul Hensby

Mario Isola says it will be interesting to see how teams react to the conditions at the Hockenheimring on Sunday, should the forecasted rain hit the track as promised during the race.

So far in 2019, there has been very limited wet weather action, with none of the opening ten races being affected by precipitation, something that could very well change on Sunday afternoon in Germany.

Isola, the Head of F1 and Car Racing at Pirelli Motorsport, says teams will need to judge just when to change compounds during the race, particularly if the track dries and dry weather compounds become more desirable.

“Strategy is likely to be at the forefront of the German Grand Prix, especially if it rains, in which case it will mostly be a question of reacting to changing circumstances with no wet-weather running seen so far this weekend and nobody having properly used wet-weather tyres during a race weekend so far this season,” said Isola.

Even if the rain does not appear, strategy will still be important, with varied starting tyres at the front of the field.  Mercedes AMG Motorsport duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will start the race from first and third on the grid on the medium compound, while Red Bull Racing pair Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly, second and fourth respectively, will start on the soft compound.

Isola says there are not really any indications to just which strategy call will be the right one, meaning Sunday’s German Grand Prix could well be a very unpredictable one to predict.

“Already, we’ve had plenty of variables heading into the race, with problems for a couple of the frontrunners and different strategies used in qualifying, which means that it’s difficult to anticipate exactly how the race will pan out,” said Isola.

“The two Mercedes start on what is theoretically the optimal tyre, with the Red Bull of Max Verstappen on the soft between them, but last year in Hockenheim showed just unpredictable this race can be.”

Each driver’s tyre compounds availability for the German Grand Prix – Credit: Pirelli Motorsport

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