Pirelli’s Mario Isola reflects on tyre strategy at the season-closer: “Abu Dhabi provided a worthy finale”

Pirelli Motorsport Director Mario Isola discussed the significance of varied tyre strategy in deciding the result of the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where Pirelli brought in their softest step of tyre compounds. 

“Abu Dhabi provided a worthy finale to this exceptional Formula 1 season. The finishing order at Yas Marina was determined by the choice of different tyre strategies; a further demonstration of how Pirelli’s work has contributed to making this year’s championship so compelling and competitive.”

Abu Dhabi saw a mixed of tyre strategies, with many also electing to do a two-stop. Isola said that degradation was lower than previously expected on Sunday, which allowed for the opportunity to only take one pitstop and the hard tyre to shine. 

“As we expected, we saw both one-stop and two-stop strategies today. Generally speaking, degradation was lower than it had been on Friday, which allowed for longer stints. The compound of the race was undoubtedly the hard, which took most of the drivers to the chequered flag.”

Winner Max Verstappen took home the win after implementing a one stop strategy, completing twenty laps on his starting set of mediums and thirty-eight laps to the end on the hard tyre. 

Abu Dhabi also decided whether Charles Leclerc or Sergio Perez would take second in the driver’s championship, with Leclerc ultimately finishing ahead in second place utilising a one-stop strategy that closely matched Verstappen’s. 

With the 2022 season complete, Isola gave a preview of Tuesday’s post-season test, where teams had the opportunity to test out the 2023 tyres and give their young drivers the opportunity to run in the 2022 cars. 

“Tuesday will be Pirelli day, with the teams all staying on to test the 2023 tyres for the first time. Even though the cars won’t be the same as those used next year and the set-up not optimised for the new specification of tyre, the teams will still obtain important feedback on the three softest compounds – which are best suited to the characteristics of the Yas Marina track – and the new C1.”

Credit: Pirelli Media