The appearance of an early safety car played a key role in influencing the tyre strategy at the Austrian Grand Prix where Nico Rosberg won commandingly after roaring ahead of his Mercedes team mate, who started from pole position.
The safety car, which came onto the tract following the first lap, meant that a one-stop strategy was the default choice for the vast majority of competitors after and meant many of the cars ran slowly for four laps when they were at their heaviest with fuel.
The majority or drivers started on the P Zero Red supersoft tyre and a number of teams who had incurred grid penalties chose alternative strategies with long stints to try and boost their final placing.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo ran for 50 laps on his original set of soft tyres, ending up in the points after starting 18th on the grid, while the Mercedes duo both used a supersoft-soft strategy, stopping within two laps of each other on laps 38 and 40 respectively.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli tyres, commented: “We initially thought that a one-stop strategy would be more likely today, and this was put beyond doubt by the early safety car. Despite the cool temperatures, the tyres performed as we expected them to, with the drivers able to get the most out of their performance.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office