When it comes to the optimal strategy, Formula One’s sole tyre manufacturer Pirelli does not expect any surprises for today’s Monaco Grand Prix with the one-stop strategy clearly appearing the fastest.
The Milan-based manufacturer brought the three softest compounds in its range to the track in Monaco: C3 as the P Zero White hard, C4 as the P Zero Yellow medium and C5 as the P Zero Red soft.
With Monaco having the lowest average lap speed of the whole championship, at around 150kph, tyres do not need to withstand huge loads throughout the 3.3-km lap. Although there’s very little grip and limited wear, cars usually endure some sliding which could result in surface graining.
Although rain showers were predicted for Sunday’s race, the chance has decreased with sunny and hot conditions expected for the 69th Formula One Grand Prix in Monaco.
On a track where overtaking is almost impossible, Pirelli expects that the fastest strategy involves a single stop, as soon as possible throughout the 78 scheduled laps.
While the soft compound provides better grip at the start, Pirelli’s engineers think that drivers should fit the P Zero Yellow medium on the grid as it gives more flexibility for the opening phase of the 78-lap race in the Principality.
Following the first stint on the mediums, drivers should change them between the twentieth and twenty-fifth laps for the hard P Zero Whites which are perfectly fine to finish the race due to the extremely low wear of the white-walled compound.
Drivers who opt to start on the Soft should change for hard tyres between laps 15 and 20, with the possibility of doing the reverse too.
Commenting on the possible strategies at today’s Monaco Grand Prix, Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Mario Isola said: “We don’t expect many strategic surprises: a single stop is the way to go, with the hard tyre as the main choice.
“However, which tyre to start the race on is more uncertain: the soft tyre certainly offers more grip at the start, but the medium has a wider window of use, with a better chance to make the most of any safety cars.”