F1 | Pirelli: 2018 Austrian Grand Prix preview

[Pirelli] The world’s most famous hillclimb event – Pikes Peak – took place in America last weekend, but this weekend is the closest that Formula 1 gets to it, thanks to the Austrian Grand Prix high up in the Styrian mountains. The P Zero Yellow soft, P Zero Red supersoft and P Zero Purple ultrasoft have been nominated for the Red Bull Ring at Spielberg: exactly the same nomination as last year, but with all the compounds of course a step softer than 2017.

• It’s one of the shortest laps of the year (but the fastest in terms of lap time) with relatively low energy loads being placed through the tyres and good grip from the asphalt.
• The first two sectors are fast and flowing, while the third sector is slower and more technical.
• The mountain location means weather can be unpredictable, with sunshine and showers.
• With lots of elevation, many corners are blind: finding a set-up that gives confidence is key.
• A one-stopper was the most common choice last year, but with a few different variations.

“Austria features the same tyre nomination as France, but they are very different tracks, although both with the characteristic in common of being revamped circuits based on a historic venue. This also gives the Red Bull Ring quite an old-school feel that the drivers always appreciate. The track is more about acceleration and braking rather than lateral demands, but Austria has always the ability to produce a few surprises, also because the field is closely packed together on the short lap, so dealing with traffic is often a factor. One of the peculiarities of Austria is the fact that most of the corners are right-hand turns, but the two most demanding corners are left-handers. This means that the loaded tyres go into them almost ‘cold’, as they are not otherwise stressed throughout the lap.”

• Pirelli took part in the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in Colorado last weekend, with multiple hillclimb champion Simone Faggioli ending up second overall in a Pirelli-equipped Norma. His 8m37.230s was the fastest time ever set by a privateer, and the third fastest time in the entire history of the event. Pirelli also set the SUV record at Pikes Peak with a near-standard Bentley Bentayga.
• Ultrasoft has dominated individual team choices, with Ferrari going slightly more aggressive by nominating 10 compared to nine for Mercedes and Red Bull.

#StartYourEngines | –