Mario Isola said the strategy differences between Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes AMG Motorsport helped the battle for the race victory in the Italian Grand Prix, with the two teams going about their races in different ways.
Lewis Hamilton pitted first at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, with Mercedes switching him from the soft to the medium tyre, with Ferrari reacting by bringing in Charles Leclerc, who went from the soft to the hard compound. Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes waited to make his own stop and like his team-mate went onto the medium compound.
Leclerc defended well from Hamilton, who’s tyres faded towards the end of the race, but Bottas’ fresher rubber ensured the Finn took up the mantle from his team-mate, although this was in vane as Ferrari held on for their second victory in a week.
“In dry conditions, the majority of drivers could execute the predicted one-stop strategy, with the central battle for most of the race being between the soft-hard strategy from Ferrari and Leclerc versus the soft-medium ‘undercut’ from Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton,” said Isola, the Head of F1 and Car Racing at Pirelli.
“Both drivers delivered an excellent battle all the way to the finish, with Valtteri Bottas joining in as well.”
Isola said there was a number of ‘impressive stints’ during the race, with the soft tyre lasting longer than many were expecting, although the virtual safety car periods for the removal of the stricken cars of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat would have helped extend those stints.
Along with congratulating Leclerc for his second consecutive race victory, Isola also had praise for the Renault F1 Team for bringing their cars home in fourth and fifth, and for Antonio Giovinazzi, who finished a career-best ninth for Alfa Romeo Racing.
“We saw some impressive stints even from the soft tyres, with several drivers hanging onto their original set of starting softs well into the second half of the race; helped also by a couple of virtual safety car periods,” said Isola.
“Congratulations to Charles Leclerc and Ferrari for a memorable home victory, as well as to Renault for getting two cars into the top five, not to mention Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi for his best race result.”