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Pirelli believe they were “too conservative” with Baku 2017 tyres

Tyre suppliers opt for more aggressive tyre choices

Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Pirelli have moved to softer tyres for this year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, a move that Pirelli expect will generate more creative pit stop strategies compared to last year’s race.

Formula One’s tyre suppliers Pirelli believe that the allocated tyre compounds will allow for more creative strategies for this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Whilst the 2017 race in Baku was a dramatic event, the hardest compound was not used during the race, meaning teams were relatively uniform on strategy decisions.

Last year’s race was expected to be a one-stop race, but the red flag period mid-way through the race allowed teams to switch tyres for a second time.

Last season, Pirelli brought the supersoft, soft and medium compound tyres. This somewhat conservative decision was made due to the new, wider tyres brought in for 2017.

For this year’s event, the tyres will be one step softer, with Pirelli bringing the ultrasoft, supersoft and soft compounds.

Pirelli’s Head of Car Racing, Mario Isola, said he hoped the softer compounds would allow for a mixture of strategy choices during the Grand Prix of Azerbaijan.

“The Azerbaijan Grand Prix should have quite a different look to it this time, being held two months earlier and presumably presenting a contrast to last year in terms of weather conditions, when track temperatures peaked at more than 50C,” said Isola.

“Last year, we felt that we were a little too conservative with the tyre nomination in Azerbaijan, in the first year of the new tyre regulations, as the medium wasn’t really used. So, we felt that this year we had scope to be a little more aggressive with the nominations.

“This should lead to all three compounds being used as realistic race options, and some inventive race strategies, as we saw at the last two Grands Prix in Bahrain and China.”

Despite Pirelli’s prediction, no driver has elected for more than two sets of the soft tyre, whilst some drivers have committed to as many as ten sets of the ultrasoft tyre.

Pirelli Tyres Azerbaijan

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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