Kimi Raikkonen lost his chance at a race win at Monza due to a perfect set of unfortunate circumstances, says Pirelli boss Mario Isola.
All Formula 1 teams had a bit of trouble with the setup for the Monza race due to lengthy red flag delays and varying weather conditions during the practice sessions. The teams could not run longer than 10 laps at the maximum and thus did not know how to set up their car for the full grand prix length.
The tyre maker’s F1 boss Mario Isola said: “Friday was a very strange day with FP1 that was wet, so teams had to concentrate all their work on the car in FP2.
“And then there was [Marcus] Ericsson’s crash, so FP2 was one hour in which they had to set up the car, test two compounds for the delta laptime and try to do a long run with a heavy car on a full tank.
“The long run was 10 laps, so then you try to extrapolate what happens, but it is not something that is linear.”
Almost all the teams had the same kind of long-run data. But the problem seems to affect Raikkonen the most due to his own unique set of circumstances.
Raikkonen had to push his tyres harder and longer after his pitstop than he would have wanted because he was trying to avoid an undercut from Lewis Hamilton.
The extra hard work on the tyres, plus the reduced downforce due to getting stuck behind Valtteri Bottas’s car caused a lot of blistering problems to the Iceman’s tyres.
“The soft compound is more prone to blisters because of the low wear,” added Isola. “Low wear means a lot of heat generation inside the compound and therefore blisters.
“If you follow another car you lose some downforce, and you slide a bit more. So compared to the supersoft, which is generating more grip and sliding less, this is all creating blisters.
“Then it is clear that if you push from lap one when the tyre is new, you have more rubber and you exacerbate the effect.”