The Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello hosts its first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix this weekend, and for Pirelli Motorsport, it’s a significant venue for the tyre manufacturer, as it was the place where they first tested tyres back in 2010 when it was announced as Formula 1’s sole tyre supplier for 2011.
It is the first of three new tracks to the calendar in 2020, alongside the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal and the outer circuit at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Mario Isola, the Head of F1 and Car Racing at Pirelli, says this weekend will likely see the tyres take a pounding due to its high-speed nature, and that is why they have brought its three hardest available compounds to Mugello.
“Mugello is a fantastic addition to the World Championship calendar with a particular significance for Pirelli, as it’s where we first ran our Formula 1 tyres back in August 2010, just two months after our agreement was announced to supply the sport from 2011 onwards,” said Isola.
“It’s a spectacular and very fast circuit that will definitely place big demands on tyres, which is why we have selected the hardest compounds.”
Isola says strategy is likely to decided late in the day this weekend due to the unknown quantity of the Mugello circuit, but he foresees a lot of action during the three free practice sessions from all twenty drivers as they adapt to the track and work out just what works and what doesn’t work this weekend.
“As with any new venue, Mugello represents a bit of an unknown for most of the drivers and an entirely clean sheet of paper when it comes to strategy,” said Isola. “Free practice will be particularly crucial to collect as much data as possible, and we’re likely to see teams splitting their programmes to gain as much information as they can about every tyre under all circumstances.
“From our point of view, we’ve been able to prepare also by analysing data from our other championships that have raced at Mugello.”
Isola took time to congratulate the ‘iconic’ Scuderia Ferrari team, who will race in their one-thousandth Grand Prix this weekend with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel.
“Congratulations to Ferrari for reaching the incredible milestone of 1000 races: just one of the factors that makes the team so iconic in our sport, and worthy of this fitting celebration where we are also delighted to be title sponsor,” said Isola.