Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola predicts that the fastest strategy for the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place next weekend at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Spa, Belgium, will be a two-stop. The Italian tyre manufacturer is bringing the ultra-soft compound to the high-speed track (together with the P Zero Red supersoft and P Zero Yellow soft), which may suffer through the heavy loaded corners such as Eau Rouge, Pouhon and Blanchimont.
Mario Isola admits that trying to work out the exact right strategy at the Spa-Francorchamps tracl will be a difficult task, given the fact that many factors such as rain and safety cars can interrupt a plan that has been laid out by strategists. As always, one famous variable at the Belgian GP is the weather, so there is also a strong chance of seeing the Cinturato Green intermediate or Cinturato Blue full wet at some point during the weekend Pirelli’s racing manager referred to the recent Spa 24 hours, which showcased all the famous circuit has to offer:
“Pirelli was racing at Spa for the 24 Hours last month, which showcased everything this circuit is famous for: changeable weather, unpredictable competition, and heavy demands on the tyres. Now that we are bringing the ultrasoft tyre there for Formula 1, we would expect those demands to increase further with the latest generation of cars. Two stops would appear to be a likely strategy but we will know more after the first free practice sessions. Working out the optimal race strategy is especially tricky at Spa as it has to be flexible: the possibility of rain, safety cars, or even a red flag – as we saw last year – means that teams often have to react to changing circumstances rather than follow a fixed plan.” – Mario Isola explained, as reported by the British media.
• The ultrasoft tyre has never been seen in Belgium before, representing a more aggressive choice.
• Not much has happened in Formula 1 with the compulsory two-week factory shutdown. The last Pirelli 2018 tyre test concluded on August 4 with Scuderia Ferrari in Barcelona, and it does not resume again until September 7-8 at Paul Ricard with Mercedes.
• At the same time as the Belgian Grand Prix, Pirelli’s European Rally Championship stars will be competing on a different type of asphalt at the Barum Czech Rally Zlin.