Pirelli have announced their tyre selections for the Styrian and Austrian Grands Prix, and they will change their choice of compounds for each race.
The double-header in Spielberg will see Formula 1’s tyre manufacturer switch up their selections for either weekend. For the Styrian Grand Prix first up, they will bring the tyres used in France – the C2, C3 and C4 compounds, which are the tyres in the middle of Pirelli’s range.
For the Austrian Grand Prix a week later, however, they will be going a step softer by using the C3, C4 and C5 compounds – their grippiest selection in their range.
This mirrors the approach they took at Silverstone in 2020, using two separate allocations for the British and 70th Anniversary Grands Prix.
Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola spoke of their reasoning behind this decision, and he said: “Once again after last year Austria hosts a back-to-back race, which means that the teams have plenty of data on this track and recent experience of how to deal with its particular challenges and tactics.
“However, having two different tyre nominations is a first for the Red Bull Ring, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the teams get to grips with the softest C5 tyres for the second race weekend – and how the new selection influences strategy in order to create different opportunities compared to the preceding Steiermark Grand Prix.”
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) June 21, 2021
Having come under fire for two blowouts in Azerbaijan, Pirelli published the findings of an internal investigation and upped the minimum pressure on which the teams could run their tyres in France at the weekend by 2psi, in order to eliminate the possibility of any similar problems.
Drivers up and down the grid complained of graining in the race and a quicker-than-anticipated loss of grip, which they generally attributed to the higher tyre pressures and the track having rubber washed off by a Sunday morning rain shower at Paul Ricard.
Interestingly, however, Pirelli have lowered their minimum running pressure in Austria compared to the races in Spielberg in 2020 by 3psi, which will increase the contact surface of the tyre on the track which, in theory, will lead to higher grip levels for the drivers when they head to Austria at the weekend.