Head of Pirelli Motorsport Mario Isola was fascinated to see a variation of strategies from each of the teams during the Japanese Grand Prix.
It was predicted before the start of the weekend that a one-stop would be the fastest strategy, beginning the race on the soft tyres up until around half-race distance before the final stint on the medium compound. However, the warmer temperatures at the Suzuka International Racing Course meant the increase of degradation.
Only eight drivers finished the race on a one-stop strategy, with the top four completing the event after pitting twice. Lewis Hamilton, who was one of the last drivers to pit, switched to a set of softs to go on and break Kimi Räikkönen‘s race lap record that was set way back in 2005.
Sebastian Vettel also broke the new track record with his pole position lap in Q3, set at a 1:27.064.
Isola found the “thrilling tactical battle” as an engaging way of making the Japanese Grand Prix more exciting than in previous years.
“On top of all the rearrangements to the schedule following yesterday’s typhoon, which washed the track clean of rubber, the warmer conditions also meant that the teams were dealing with a number of unknown quantities heading into qualifying and the race – both held within a short space of time today,” Isola said.
“It was mainly a question of developing the strategy during the grand prix, with a number of different tactics seen from one to three stops, as competitors reacted to their rivals’ strategies.
“All three compounds were used during the race, with four different strategies in the top six, a thrilling tactical battle for the runner-up spot, and lap records broken in qualifying and the race. Congratulations to Mercedes for another well-deserved constructors’ championship victory.”