Mario Isola was thankful to the FIA, all ten FIA Formula 1 World Championship teams, and to the drivers for allowing an emergency solution to be found to solve the safety issue that affected Pirelli Motorsport during the Qatar Grand Prix weekend.
Issues on Friday highlighted problems with the tyres due to the demands put into them across the kerbing around the Lusail International Circuit, and changes were made to the track before Saturday’s Sprint shootout session.
Limitations to maximum tyre life was implemented for the main race on Sunday, with maximum stints of eighteen laps – including any laps already run on those tyres – mandated.
Isola felt the show was still interesting despite all drivers being forced to make at least three pit stops, but Pirelli will now analyse just went wrong so they can share the findings with the FIA and find a solution going forward.
“This was a very demanding weekend on many fronts, which ended with a race that, given the circumstances, was interesting and closely contested,” said Isola, the Motorsport Director at Pirelli.
“The committed and transparent collaboration between all of Formula 1’s stakeholders – the FIA, Formula 1, the teams and drivers – meant that there was a rapid and efficient reaction to solving a safety issue that involved us at first hand.
“Today, the sport was able to put on an interesting show for the spectators with a lot of overtaking and duels, despite the limitations imposed by the FIA. In the coming weeks, we will continue to analyse the tyres used this weekend to acquire as much information as possible and share that with the FIA.”
Isola said all three compounds showed graining during the Qatar Grand Prix, although the severity of it appeared to decrease as the track surface rubbered-in. The track had been resurfaced ahead of this year’s race and was still bedding in when the racing begun on Sunday.
“From what we saw this evening, graining was a very significant factor with all the compounds,” he said. “It’s severity gradually decreased as the track rubbered-in.
“Today the wind was much weaker than in the past days which reduced the amount of sand and dust blown onto the track surface, even if it did not disappear completely. Thermal degradation also had an effect on tyre performance, with track temperatures never dropping below 36 °C.”