Pirelli’s Mario Isola praises the FIA decision to suspend qualifying

by Ed Spencer

The head of Pirelli’s F1 racing department Mario Isola praised organisers after their decision to suspend Saturday’s qualifying session due to typhoon Hagibis till Sunday morning.

With a crippling typhoon set to devastate Japan, organisers took the decision to move qualifying to Sunday morning with the second free practice session extended to ninety minutes so teams could prepare for qualifying as well as if the situation arose where qualifying had to be cancelled itself through the extreme weather with the times set in the session would form up the grid for the race.

“The postponement of qualifying and cancellation of Free Practice 3, which was absolutely the right decision under the circumstances, affected the run plans for free practice.explained Isola. “Teams not only had to ensure a banker lap, just in case the Free Practice 2 times are used to set the grid, but also had to prepare for the race.”

Isola is unsure of what the genuine pace will look like for the qualifying and the race due to some compounds of tyre such as the hard compound being used sparingly by the teams in practice.

“Despite that, it’s very hard to know exactly what the race conditions will be on Sunday, and how useful today’s running will have turned out to be.”

“The performance gap between the different compounds is not quite as relevant as usual: the hard compound has not been used much today, while the comparison between the soft and medium tyres was very much influenced by track evolution during Free Practice 1, as well as by teams using the soft at the end of Free Practice 2 to set a time that could form the grid, should qualifying not be held on Sunday morning.”

With the various amounts of uncertatinties caused by the weather Isola is expecting an exciting Japanese Grand Prix

“There’s obviously now a big air of unpredictability about the whole weekend, which will hopefully lead to an exciting race.”

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