Pirelli sees opportunities for Verstappen: softs will not differ much from mediums in strategy


Pirelli expects a one-stop to be the most ideal scenario for the drivers during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Max Verstappen then starts from pole position with the softs, while Lewis Hamilton starts in second place with the mediums. Good news from the tire supplier for Verstappen: both from the mediums and the softs to the hard tire is the most favorable strategy and will not differ much from each other.

In addition, Pirelli emphasizes that a two-stop is indeed slower on the Yas Marina Circuit, unless there is a safety car. That could possibly work out favorably for Verstappen, but the Dutchman does not have to worry about the red belt. The expectation is that Verstappen will get away better on the softs, but the mediums do give some more flexibility when planning a pit stop.

Isola sees interesting qualifying session

“This was an interesting qualifying session in which tire choice played a key role,” Pirelli chief executive Mario Isola said in a press release after qualifying. “We saw different tactics, with the two title competitors starting on different tires and going through different strategies during the race in deciding for the championship.”

According to Isola, it is important that Verstappen retains the lead after the start. “Then he can drive in the open air and prevent overheating by consistently loading his tires. We expect a tactical race in which tire management will certainly play a role. I would also like to congratulate Verstappen for achieving the most pole positions in this season, a total of ten’, concludes Isola.

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