Mario Isola expects complains from F1 drivers for the Pirelli tyres during the upcoming Las Vegas GP due to low temperatures and low grip.

With less than a week remaining for F1 Las Vegas GP, Pirelli chief Isola expects complaints from drivers regarding low grip and the tyres due to expected low temperatures. The surface is brand new and even with simulation, the real picture can’t be ascertained.

Pirelli picked the three softest compounds –  C3, C4 and C5 – after consultation with the tarmac makers and simulation numbers. “It is a step into the unknown, for everybody I believe,” said Isola. “Las Vegas will be cold, it’s a street circuit. So we were working with the teams and we asked them for simulations in advance to try to understand how much energy the layout of the aircraft is putting on tyres.

“We had information from the companies that are making the tarmac in order to understand how abrasive is the tarmac, and which is the level of creep we can expect. But still, a lot of question marks are on Las Vegas. We decided to use the three softest compounds in the range to try to generate grip.

“I can imagine a lot of track evolution and very low grip. So they will complain! It’s fine. We will manage also this situation. But it’s a big unknown. Fast track, long straights, high speed and all conditions that are quite difficult to manage. We made a comparison with Baku, but I believe that Baku… Yes, there is a long straight but for the rest of the circuit it’s quite different. But we based some of our assumptions on Baku,” summed up Isola.

With the temperatures likely to go in single digits, Isola states that they did have discussions about weather and the conditions but it is something that Pirelli have no control over and they will have to make the most of the situation.

“We had a lot of discussion with Formula 1 and the FIA before Las Vegas and also last year,” said Isola. “I remember I started discussing Las Vegas with the Ross Brawn, so it’s quite a lot of time ago. Obviously, we cannot change the weather, we cannot increase the temperature. A challenge could be to keep the temperature in the tyre.

“That’s why we decided to select the three softest compounds. And then, as I said before, it’s a bit jumping into the unknown because we just have data based on simulation, nothing else. So we try to do our best but consider that the tyres are homologated so we cannot make a special tyre for Las Vegas as we cannot make a special tyre for Monte Carlo, for example. So it is what it is and we have to just select the best option we have.”

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