Formula 1

Pirelli’s Mario Isola: “It soon became apparent that two stops were necessary”

1 Mins read
Credit: Steve Etherington

Mario Isola admits it was clear early on that a two-stop strategy was going to be the best strategy for the Spanish Grand Prix, and it was made ever more apparent when those trying a one-stop effort slipped back in the closing laps.

Max Verstappen was attempted to stop only once, but the Red Bull Racing driver was overhauled in the final stages by the two-stopping Lewis Hamilton to give the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver his third victory of the season.

Further down the pack, the two Alpine F1 Team drivers fell down the order in the final laps, although Esteban Ocon was able to hold off the charging Pierre Gasly to score two points for ninth place. Indeed, Ocon was the only driver inside the top ten to make only one stop as, once Hamilton was ahead, Verstappen pitted for fresh rubber and took the bonus point for fastest lap.

However, it was obvious to Isola, the Head of F1 and Car Racing at Pirelli Motorsport, that a two-stop strategy was the way to go at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

“This was an intense strategic battle, so it’s perhaps surprising that in the end the top four finished exactly as they started on the grid, despite plenty of movement and pit stops during the race,” said Isola.  

“The cooler temperatures today prompted extensive use of the soft and medium tyres, which as we expected also led to nearly all the drivers making two pit stops. With most drivers moving from the soft to the medium after the start of the race, they had some flexibility on strategy.

“However, it soon became apparent that two stops were necessary here due to the abrasive nature and high-energy demands of this track, which makes the performance of the soft tyre as a key element to the race all the more commendable.”

Credit: Pirelli Motorsport
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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