Pirelli ‘Satisfied’ with Abu Dhabi Performance after Decade-Old Lap Record Finally Broken

by Paul Hensby

Mario Isola says Pirelli Motorsport can be satisfied with the performance of all three compounds of tyre during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, which allowed one and two stop strategy options to be used.

The leading pair of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, racing for Mercedes AMG Motorsport and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing respectively, both ran one-stop strategies, whilst Charles Leclerc took the final spot on the podium for Scuderia Ferrari and pitted twice.

There were also variations of strategy off the podium, with Valtteri Bottas climbing from the back of the field to fourth by pitting only once, while Carlos Sainz Jr. claimed sixth in the Drivers’ Championship by pitting twice and passing Nico Hülkenberg on the final lap for the final point in tenth.

The lap record at the Yas Marina Circuit was also broken by Hamilton, and Isola, the Head of F1 and Car Racing at Pirelli, says this underlines the increase in performance that has taken place in Formula 1 in 2019.

“From a tyre point of view, with the three softest compounds in our range, we are satisfied with the overall performance here,” said Isola.  “We saw some long stints and low degradation, but also plenty of tactical variation and raw speed, with the decade-old race lap record finally broken on quite old hard tyres.

“This underlines the constant increase in performance we have seen in Formula 1 this year, which we have to bear in mind for the future.”

Isola says Pirelli’s focus now turns to 2020 and the all-important tyre test taking place later this week.  All ten teams will get the chance to test the 2020 compounds in direct comparison to those being used in 2019.

“So now our focus turns to testing for 2020 and beyond as we remain at Yas Marina,” said Isola.  “On Tuesday and Wednesday all the teams will try out a range of 2020 tyres, with the opportunity to compare them to the current 2019 tyres.

“After that, we’ll also be testing the 18-inch tyre for 2021 in the last of our private tests this year. Congratulations to Hamilton and Mercedes, not just for this emphatic race win but also for claiming both championships.”

Strategies in Abu Dhabi – Credit: Pirelli Motorsport

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