Pirelli’s Mario Isola discusses new six-compound tyre range, redesigned C1 tyre

Pirelli Motorsport Director Mario Isola looks forward to the introduction of their new C1 tyre at the Bahrain Grand Prix, which is expected to be a more competitive option at the harder end of the available compounds. 

With this development, Pirelli has now expanded their total slick tyre range from five compounds to six. This year’s C1 will fill the performance gap between last year’s C1– now called C0– and C2. 

Pirelli will bring the C1, C2 and C3 compound to Bahrain this year, which means that we’ll be seeing this new addition come into play at the opening race. Isola said that this weekend will be pivotal in revealing the extent of the improvements made to the tyres since 2022, including the update to the tyres’ structure.

“The first race of the championship will be an important test bench to validate all the development work we have carried out last year, which allowed us to further improve the structure of the tyres and introduce a new compound. 

Isola predicts that Pirelli’s re-engineered C1 tyre, the hardest compound offered, will be a “valid” race tyre at Bahrain International Circuit, which has one of the most abrasive track surfaces of the season. 

“Our latest C1 will make its debut at Sakhir: an entirely new compound based on last year’s C2, which allows us to reduce the performance gap between the harder compounds in the range. We expect it to be a valid option for the race this weekend as well.”

The undercut strategy– when a driver pits for fresh tyres before that of a competitor in order to gain an advantage and track position– may once again play a role in this weekend’s race, according to Isola. 

“The ‘undercut’ is often pivotal to the Bahrain Grand Prix, so it will be interesting to see how the teams make use of this new element in the trio of compounds that are nominated for Sakhir.”

Credit: Pirelli Media