Formula One's Italian tyre supplier Pirelli expects the weather to play an integral part in the remainder of the Styrian Grand Prix which can mitigate the value of today’s tyre analysis.
It was all about the weather today at the Red Bull Ring with teams being in a hurry all day long to perform tyre analysis. Although the rain arrived in the afternoon, it never really affected the on-track running with drivers enjoying a relatively clean track on the opening day of the Styrian Grand Prix. The weather remained reasonably warm at around 24 degrees centigrade ambient and 39 degrees on track in the afternoon.
The drivers had a ‘green’ and slippery surface to contend with, offering very little grip, especially during in the morning when Formula 1 was the first session of the day on track. The rain before FP2 reset the track slightly, emphasising track evolution during the session.
At the first race at the Red Bull Ring, known as the Steiermark Grand Prix, C2 is the P Zero White hard, C3 is the P Zero Yellow medium, and C4 is the P Zero Red soft.
Red Bull set the pace with the P Zero Red soft C4 tyre during both free practice sessions at the Red Bull Ring today, with Max Verstappen going fastest in the morning and then again in the afternoon.
The gaps between the compounds are quite small over the short and flowing 10-corner lap in Austria, although the rain before FP2 made it hard to accurately measure the expectations. The performance gap between the soft and medium is currently around 0.5 seconds approximately, with the gap between medium and hard standing at roughly 0.3 seconds.
Commenting on today's running at the Red Bull Ring, Pirelli's Head of F1 and Car Racing Mario Isola said: "The changeable weather influenced the action today at the Red Bull Ring, with the teams in a hurry to collect all the data that they needed before any rain fell – which was the case on FP1 and particularly at the beginning of FP2, although it was never enough to seriously affect the action other than track evolution in FP2.
"This uncertain weather is expected to remain for the rest of the weekend, which could provide an extra element of unpredictability in terms of strategy. The information collected today on the medium and soft compounds will also be valuable for next week, when they become the hard and medium selections for the Austrian Grand Prix, while the C5 arrives as the softest compound," Isola concluded.