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Pirelli Bahrain Red Bull 2024

Mario Isola: Red Bull’s Bold Strategic Choice

03/03/2024

In Bahrain’s season opener, a two-stop strategy was universal, but Red Bull’s tactical edge with fresh softs set them apart.

As expected, a two-stop strategy prevailed in Bahrain for the opening Grand Prix of the year.

There was even a strategic consensus at the race start: all drivers set off on softs. And everyone opted for hards for the second stint!

However, Red Bull held a significant advantage over its direct competitors: both Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez had a set of new C3 softs in reserve; and they used it in their final stint, whereas other drivers, like those at Mercedes or Ferrari, had to choose C1 hards for their final stint.

A few drivers, either poorly ranked or having encountered incidents, made three pit stops: Nico Hülkenberg, returning from the first lap; as well as Pierre Gasly and Logan Sargeant (two stints on hards, two on softs).

In the absence of even a virtual safety car, strategy played a slightly less significant role than usual. Regardless, the Pirellis did their job for their first real-world test (these were the same compounds as last year, but it was necessary to see how they reacted to the increased aerodynamic performance.)

Mario Isola admits, there was a sense of déjà vu in Bahrain…

“The first Grand Prix of 2024 almost seemed like an extension of the previous season, with Verstappen easily outdistancing the rest of the grid, while everything was very close behind him. It’s no coincidence that there were five teams in the top 10, roughly in the same order as last season, the only exception being Ferrari ahead of Mercedes.”

“As for the tire performances, there were no surprises: in fact, the tires are virtually the same as those from last year’s race, and the three days of testing before this race allowed teams to analyze all aspects of their performance. The slightly cooler temperatures made the tires even more competitive, as there was less degradation given the nature of the track.”

“However, only Red Bull made a bold choice in terms of strategy, while the others preferred to play it safe by keeping two sets of hards for the race.”

Pirelli Bahrain Red Bull 2024. Pirelli Bahrain Red Bull 2024

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