The FIA Formula One World Championship moves onto the next part of the triple header this weekend with the Styrian Grand Prix. Just like last season the Red Bull Ring in Austria will hold back to back races, but this year with a key difference.
Pirelli have opted for different tyre compounds for each Austrian Grand Prix, this is so different strategies can be played out over the two races at the venue, adding an extra element to each grand prix.
For this weekend it will be the C2, C3 and C4 tyre compounds in use, the second softest combination. For the final race of the triple header again at Austria in just over a weeks time it will be the C3,C4 and C5 compounds in use, the softest range of Pirelli’s tyres.
The same strategy was used last year by Pirelli at Silverstone over the double header there. Those who can remember the British Grand Prix from last season will recall the volume of tyre failures and that dramatic last lap!
The softest combination is viable for the Red Bull Ring, the circuit isn’t too demanding on the tyres, despite its short and rollercoaster like style. This weekend looks set to be the traditional one-stop race usually seen at Austria, however the following grand prix may require two-stops with the softer tyres in use.
Pirelli Head of F1 and Car Racing Mario Isola is interested to see how the double header at Austria will play out, with different compounds being used.
Once again after last year Austria hosts a back-to-back race, which means that the teams have plenty of data on this track and recent experience of how to deal with its particular challenges and tactics.
However, having two different tyre nominations is a first for the Red Bull Ring, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the teams get to grips with the softest C5 tyres for the second race weekend – and how the new selection influences strategy in order to create different opportunities compared to the preceding Steiermark Grand Prix.”