Pirelli Motorsport boss Mario Isola felt the Brazilian Grand Prix will go down as one of the most dramatic races in Formula 1 after late race safety cars jumbled up the order and opened up different strategic options for the teams and drivers.
Max Verstappen took victory at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace by making three trips to the pit lane, and twice passed Lewis Hamilton for the lead, while Pierre Gasly claimed his maiden podium finish in second place by pitting twice.
Carlos Sainz Jr., who originally finished fourth but was promoted to the podium when Hamilton was handed a time penalty for a collision with Alexander Albon, started twentieth and last on the grid but made a one-stop strategy work to his favour to claim third.
Higher track temperatures compared to those seen on Friday and Saturday in Brazil meant two stop strategies became more likely, and Isola, the Head of F1 and Car Racing at Pirelli, said the warmer weather and two safety car periods made for an unbelievable afternoon.
“Today will go down as one of the really dramatic races of Formula 1 history, with almost unbelievable action all the way to the finish line,” Isola said directly after the race.
“The two safety car periods at the end of the race completely changed the complexion of the strategy, which up to that point had seemed to favour a two-stop race, in the notably higher temperatures that we experienced on race day compared to previous days. These also brought the most durable hard compound into play.
“However, Carlos Sainz proved that a one-stopper was still possible, and there were many other drivers who made the most of this very unpredictable race to choose different calls on tyre strategy that paid off.
“Congratulations to Pierre Gasly and Toro Rosso for a well-deserved second place, and to Honda for putting two of their cars on the podium.”