Mario Isola says the decision for all of the top ten to qualify using the medium compound tyre was due to the easier management of the rear tyres around the Bahrain International Circuit compared to the soft.
Tyre management around the circuit will be key to a successful race on Sunday evening under the floodlights in Bahrain, but the teams all found that the soft tyre was overheating more compared to the medium, which is why that tyre was the preferred choice in Q2.
Isola, the Head of F1 and Car Racing at Pirelli Motorsport, also praised the way recently-crowned World Champion Lewis Hamilton showed his speed during Q3, with the Briton breaking the lap record not once but twice on two different compounds of tyre.
Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s Hamilton secured his tenth pole position of the season and the ninety-eighth of his remarkable career with a best time of 1:27.264 having earlier broken the lap record on the medium compound with a 1:27.586.
“The strategy for this race really began in Q2, with nearly all the drivers coming out on medium tyres, before a red flag stoppage with nine minutes remaining meant that there was only one run left to make it count,” said Isola.
“With the top 10 all starting on the Yellow medium tyre tomorrow, they have some options as to which compound to run during the second stint. We saw in qualifying that the pace of the soft and the medium is closely matched, however the medium is easier to manage in terms of rear overheating, which is why it was selected in Q2.
“We also saw that Hamilton was able to break the track record not once but twice, on two different compounds, which confirms the ever-increasing speed of the current Formula 1 cars.”