Formula One cars will conquer the Temple of Speed this weekend as teams embark on their fantastic voyage in the beautiful Italy with Monza hosting the first of the three Italian rounds in 2020.
For the Italian Grand Prix, Pirelli will allocate teams with tyres in the middle of its range. The C2 compound will serve as the White Hard, the C3 as the Yellow Medium and the C4 as the Red soft for the fast Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.
As well as its famous flat-out straights, there are some slower and more technical sections that have been added to the iconic Italian track over the years to try to contain average speeds.
According to the Milan-based company, the tyre stress is the highest possible around the Monza circuit with tyres being heavily tested under braking and acceleration. Due to the track characteristics, teams run their cars with minimum downforce which means that cars rely on mechnical grip more than on other circuits. With less downforce pushing down on them, the tyres are more susceptible to sliding – which increases wear.
The overall lap record of 1m19.119s was set by Kimi Raikkonen in qualifying with Ferrari two years ago. The forecast predicts nice and sunny weather and with the significant evolution of the 2020 cars compared to last season, that record could be broken this year.
For safety reasons, Pirelli have increased the minimum starting pressures for this weekend – the front tyres have to be at 26.0psi while the rear tyres at 21.5psi. The camber limits are -3.00° for the front tyres and -2.00° for the rears.
Pirelli’s Head of F1 and car racing Mario Isola does not expect any surprises for the team regarding the tyres given the wealth of information and data gained over the past years.
“For the first time in history, we embark on two consecutive Formula 1 weekends in Italy: each with different tyre nominations too. Unlike Mugello, Monza is very much a known quantity, with the teams having plenty of relevant data from these same compounds that were also used last year. However, the cars are now a lot faster and the weather could also be a question mark: it’s often warm and dry but there’s been rain in recent years too.
The 2019 Italian Grand Prix was won with a one-stop strategy as Charles Leclerc sealed a popular home victory for Ferrari. Leclerc, who started from pole, was the only driver to choose a soft-hard strategy: the other one-stoppers all went for a soft-medium plan.
However, Pirelli is unsure about the best possible strategy ahead of the this year’s race with Isola thinking that „both a one-stopper and a two-stopper can work, but unlike last year, the drivers now have a fixed tyre allocation that has a direct effect on the strategy by influencing which compounds they ultimately have available for the race.
„However, this allocation has been designed to give the drivers the maximum possible opportunities, so that they can target the tyres that they want to have on race day.”