Pirelli is braced for more complaints as the PlanetF1 Grand Prix in Las Vegas approaches

Pirelli is braced for more complaints as the PlanetF1 Grand Prix in Las Vegas approaches

Pirelli motorsport director Mario Isola is preparing to be the center of attention in Las Vegas, where temperatures are expected to reach three degrees Celsius.

Formula 1 is preparing for its inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix in a week, but in addition to the excitement, there is fear about how difficult the racing will be in the desert city.

Early forecasts are for temperatures to drop to three degrees during qualifying, which will have a major impact on Pirelli’s tyres.

Pirelli takes a “step into the unknown” with the Las Vegas Grand Prix

Isola is the public face of Pirelli’s involvement in Formula One, and as such has had to face some difficult problems during his time with the Italian manufacturer.

But while tires deteriorating too quickly is often a cause for concern, that problem will be reversed in Vegas as teams appear prepared to struggle to get the rubber up to temperature.

“I think we’ll talk about Pirelli in Vegas because of the temperature,” he suggested. He added: “The asphalt is quite smooth according to the information I have, so the level of grip will be very bad, I can expect that.

“Even if we had chosen the three softest compounds in the group, I can imagine that with these great conditions and a track that does not generate a lot of energy in the tyre, the warm-up would be difficult.”

Pirelli has selected the three softest compounds available with the soft tire featured in the C5 range.

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Speaking before the final race in Brazil, Isola commented that racing at the Vegas circuit was a “step into the unknown”.

“It’s a step into the unknown, for everyone, I think,” he said. “Las Vegas is going to be cold, it’s a street track. So we’ve been working with the teams and asking them to do pre-simulations to try to understand how much energy the track layout is putting on the tires.

“We obtained information from the companies that make the runway in order to understand how abrasive the runway would be and what level of grip we could expect. But there were still a lot of question marks in Las Vegas. We decided to use the three softest compounds in the group to try to generate grip.

“I can imagine a lot of development on the track and very low grip. So they will complain! It’s okay. We will deal with that situation as well. But it’s a big unknown. Fast track, long straights, high speed, all conditions that are difficult to manage.”

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