95. Mario Isola

Pirelli 2021 tyre choice – Mario Isola
Age 51
Occupation Head of Formula 1 and Car Racing, Pirelli
Nationality Italian
Position Last Year 51

Mario Isola, born in Milan, started his career as a test driver for Pirelli’s road car tyres, before heading over to the motorsport division. He’s been involved in Pirelli’s successful programmes in GT racing and rallying, before switching to manage Pirelli’s return to Formula 1 in 2011.

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He’s in charge of day-to-day operations on the track for Formula 1 as well as all other Pirelli motorsport activities. Away from the track, he’s a volunteer ambulance driver and occasional rally driver.

Mario Isola has a wealth of driving experience behind him. He understands what it takes both to produce a tyre that will get good results on the track and how to drive to get the best out of it. Currently working in the Formula 1 paddock as Pirelli’shead of motorsport, Isola also oversees operations in the junior single-seater series’ as well.

Mario started his motorsport career as a driver, competing in karting events and series from a young age. He drove alongside some significant names but didn’t go much further himself. Whilst at a job interview for Pirelli, Isola let slip that he’d done some competitive driving previously, and the company took him on board as a test driver.

He started out on the road car side, working for the research and development department, before moving across to motorsport – which he says had always been his aim. He initially helped design tyres for the FIA’s GT Championship in 2003, before managing the Pirelli operation within the series. They secured the championship in 2005, after which Isola moved to rally.

In 2011, Isola became Racing Manager for Pirelli’s single-seater operations, including F1 as well as GP2 and GP3. When Paul Hembery took a step back from the day-to-day running of the Formula 1 operation, Isola was drafted in to take a more active role in the paddock.

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