Strategy guide for the Austrian Grand Prix

By on

Formula One’s sole tyre supplier Pirelli thinks that the one-stop strategy will be the fastest way to complete today’s 71-lap Austrian Grand Prix. Reporting from the Red Bull Ring paddock, F1Technical’s Balázs Szabó reveals what Pirelli advises regarding the fastest strategy for today’s Spielberg race.

For the short and fast Red Bull Ring, the Milan-based tyre manufacturer brought the three softest compounds in the range: C3 as the P Zero White hard, C4 as the P Zero Yellow medium, and C5 as the P Zero Red soft.

When it comes to historical data, it is once again difficult to draw comparisons as the sport uses new 18-inch tyres and the compounds are also slightly different to the previous years. However, if one still intends to build on last year’s experience then it is important to note that the Red Bull Ring hosted two races in 2021. In the second grand prix, the same tyre nomination was used as this year, designed to help put on a show by increasing degradation and creating more overtaking opportunities.

On that occasion, the winning strategy was a two-stopper. However, the weather conditions are very different today with temperatures hardly reaching 20 degrees and the track surface is still slightly damp. Considering the low temperatures and based on the long runs data complated in Saturday’s Free Practice 2, Pirelli estimates that the quickest strategy is going to be a one-stopper from medium to hard.

For cars starting out of position, starting on the hard isn’t out of the question either, leaving a choice between the soft and the medium for the final stint.

The Milan-based company thinks that a two-stopper is definitely slower, but a safety car period could motivate some drivers towards a second stoppage for fresh tyres. The best way to complete the race with a stop-stop strategy would be using all three compounds: medium, hard, then soft.

Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Mario Isola commented: “Today the teams were able to get some useful long run data on the medium during the sprint: good information for the race tomorrow, which looks likely to be a medium to hard one-stopper, as also confirmed by the performance of the tyres today.

„Both compounds performed well, with the medium being the more conservative choice that made it the most popular option for the sprint this afternoon. The soft was chosen by four drivers starting from further down the grid, and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll used it well to make up four places,” the Italian concluded.