Formula 1

Pirelli’s Mario Isola: “The Hungaroring is the sort of place that can cause a surprise”

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Credit: Andy Hone / LAT Images

Mario Isola says strategy will play an important part in this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, with the Hungaroring a particularly difficult circuit to overtake around.

Looking back at the past results at the Hungaroring, the quickest driver on the day has not necessarily come out on top due to the tight and twisty nature of the track, and Isola, the Head of F1 and Car Racing at Pirelli Motorsport, says it is up to the strategists and their strategy calls to get drivers to the head of the queue.

“Hungary marks the final grand prix before the traditional summer break, and it’s a very challenging race to end the first part of the season with: both physically and strategically,” said Isola.  “Overtaking is tricky with a narrow racing line – there is a risk of sliding if you get off it – so track position is key, and the strategy needs to ensure this.

“The Hungaroring is the sort of place that can cause a surprise though with the right strategy and a car that handles well, even if it’s not the fastest, as we have seen a few times in the past.”

Looking back at the race twelve months ago, which was won by Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes AMG Motorsport ahead of Scuderia Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen, the three podium finishers used three different strategies, and Isola believes something similar could happen again this season with the same compound choices being selected.

The C2 has been nominated as the hard compound, the C3 as the medium, and the C4 as the soft, with Isola hoping different drivers will have varying choices on race day. It is also the seventh time in 2019 that these three compounds have been chosen, including last weekend at the Hockenheimring for the German Grand Prix.

“Last year, with the same tyre nomination as this year, we saw quite a few different race strategies following a rain-affected qualifying: hopefully we will have the same sort of tactical variety again this weekend,” said Isola.

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