Pirelli’s Mario Isola: “We could see more lap records broken again this weekend”

by Tom Cairns
Pirelli Motorsport in the 2019 Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix - Autódromo José Carlos Pace

Pirelli Motorsport arrive at the Yas Marina Circuit for not only this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but also the post-season test the following midweek.

As this particular venue has been a one-stopper throughout most years, the Italian tyre manufacturer had decided to bring the three softest compounds (C3, C4 and C5) for the eleventh running of this event.

2018’s race had included the softest compounds of supersoft, ultrasoft and hypersoft. However, that still saw little variation of strategies, as Valtteri Bottas was the only driver to pit more than once during the race.

Pirelli tyre compounds - 2019 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit
Credit: Pirelli

Following the final race of the year, all the Formula 1 teams will remain at the circuit for the two-day test, along with those in Formula 2, who will be trialling the new eighteen-inch tyres for next year.

Pirelli Head of F1 and Car Racing Mario Isola expects lap times to come down quickly over the course of the weekend. He also believes that the 2020 tyres will be an important assessment on the current cars going into next season.

“Abu Dhabi marks the end of another very long season, but the work still continues for us after the grand prix, with a series of tests for both Formula 1 and Formula 2, using 13-inch tyres as well as 18-inch tyres,” Isola added.

In total, we’ll bringing around 4500 tyres to Abu Dhabi, for racing and testing: more than double the usual quantity. The two-day official F1 test after the race will be particularly important, as it gives a chance for the teams to compare 2019 to 2020 tyres in representative conditions and with specifically adapted cars for the first time.

Before then, we have one final grand prix to complete. There’s a strong chance that we could see more lap records broken again over the weekend, with the teams now having maximised their knowledge of the 2019 tyres.”

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