Max Verstappen qualified himself on the hard tire, something that never actually occurs in Formula 1. Normally the drivers choose the soft or the medium tire. Mario Isola, technical director of tire supplier Pirelli, was therefore very surprised.
“It was a very unusual qualifying session, with Max Verstappen starting on the hard tire on Sunday and going through Q2 on this tire. That is probably the first time in our Formula 1 history”, says Isola.
“Max should be able to take advantage of the extra durability of this compound during his first stint with the cars fully fueled.”
Isola expects the drivers to ignore the soft tire during the race. “We always knew that the soft tire would not be an ideal tire for the race due to the high level of wear and degradation.”
“We assume a two-stopper, where different strategies are possible that can be successful.”