Team input can be a juggling act – Isola

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Team input can be a juggling act – Isola

Formula 1

Team input can be a juggling act – Isola


Allowing Formula 1 teams to be involved in decision regarding short-term issues makes it difficult to instigate change, according to Pirelli’s head of car racing Mario Isola.

The teams met with Pirelli during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend to discuss reverting to last year’s tire compounds during this season after a number of teams encountered difficulties getting the 2019 ones to work properly. A unanimous agreement was required to make such a change and couldn’t be reached, and Isola says it is understandable that teams think primarily about themselves on more immediate matters.

“That is a difficult question, because if we are talking about short-term targets, involving the teams is very difficult, because they are just looking at their own advantage,” Isola said. “That is normal. I’m not criticizing that. They are in competition and they look at their own advantage.

“Long-term it is useful, because they can give you feedback that everybody should consider. If we’re talking about any change in the sporting regulations, we have to involve the teams to understand how they approach the change, because it could be a great idea but then it doesn’t work.

“In the shorter term, involving the teams is difficult. You’re not sure they are taking you in the right direction because there is too much on the table for their own advantage.”

One change that might require such support from the teams would be to introduce different compounds this season following testing on Fridays; something Isola says is still being considered, but could only realistically be implemented for the final four rounds of the season.

“We have the opportunity to bring some prototypes on Fridays,” he said. “The idea is if we can give the opportunity to the teams to use these prototypes not only on Friday, but during the race weekend. It’s not easy because you need to modify the sporting regulations, that means you need unanimity from the teams to agree, but we are try to understand if there is any room to make any proposal.

“I think that if there is a sensible proposal, the teams will agree. Obviously we have to pay attention not to change any balance inside the championship because that is not fair or correct, but there are some ideas. And if there are any good ideas, even if we can’t introduce it this year, we can think about next year.

“So the FIA, F1 are involved. The meeting we had on the Friday in Austria was quite productive because it was not just a vote on coming back to last year’s tires, but it was more a brainstorming of what we can do for the future. On the Pirelli side we can just give our support to any proposal. We are not making any regulations, we are not the people doing that, but we are happy to contribute in any way to improve the show.”