Tyre preview: Alternative tyre allocation returns at Monza

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For their home race at Monza, Formula One's tyre manufacturer Pirelli will bring the softest tyre compounds of their six-compound range with the alternative tyre allocation also making a return after the first test in Hungary.

Following the incident-filled and action-packed Dutch Grand Prix, Formula One made the trip to Norther Italy's Monza that will play host to the Italian Grand Prix. While the track is usually referred to as the Temple of Speed, Pirelli will bring a bold tyre selection to Monza.

The C3 will be used as P Zero White hard, C4 as P Zero Yellow medium and C5 as P Zero Red soft. These are the softest compounds in the Pirelli Formula 1 range, already nominated for five other race weekends so far this season, albeit mainly on street circuits or slow tracks like the Hungaroring.

It will be spectacular to watch how the weekend unfolds as Pirelli will try out their Alternative Tyre Allocation that has already caused a stir in Hungary. The rule means that each driver will have just 11 sets of slick tyres (three Hard, four Medium and four Soft) at their disposal for the weekend. In qualifying, drivers can use only one type of compound per session (unless it's wet): in Q1 the Hard, in Q2 the Medium, and in Q3 the Soft.

As for the race strategy, tyre degradation is usually quite low around the 5.8km Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Last year, there were no fewer than eight different strategies deployed by the top 10 finishers. Max Verstappen and George Russell (first and third respectively) opted for a single stop, while Charles Leclerc – who finished second – had already made two stops before a safety car towards the end of the race allowed all three drivers to stop again.

The minimum starting pressures will be relatively high once again as teams need to adhere to a minimum of 24.5 psi for the front tyre and 22.5 psi for the rear tyres. The camber limits are set at -3.00° at the front and -2.00° at the rear.

Pirelli will remain in Monza after the Italian Grand Prix for a couple of days of testing with Alpine and Red Bull. The teams will take to the track on Tuesday and Wednesday after the race (5-6 September) to test prototype slick tyres.

Pirelli's Motorsport Director Mario Isola commented: “As usual, the European Formula 1 season draws to a close in Monza: which is also Pirelli’s home event as our headquarters are just a few kilometres away from this iconic circuit. Monza is synonymous with speed, as its nickname of the ‘Temple of Speed’ capably demonstrates. To this day, it’s where the fastest race in the history of Formula 1 was held, with Michael Schumacher setting an unbeaten average race speed of 247.585 kph back in 2003.

As a result, teams use the lowest possible aerodynamic downforce levels to favour top speed by reducing drag. Stability under braking and traction coming out of the two chicanes are the two key factors that challenge tyres most on this track, as well as the lateral loads exerted in the fast corners such as Parabolica (named after Michele Alboreto) and Curva Grande.

After Hungary, Monza will be the second time that the Alternative Tyre Allocation (ATA) is trialled, which uses two fewer sets of tyres than the standard format. This offers a benefit in terms of CO2 saved both during production and transport, as well as giving teams and drivers a wider range of strategic option. For this reason as well, we have chosen the trio of softest compounds for Monza – C3, C4, and C5 – which has already been nominated five times this season.”

The Italian Grand Prix is one of the races that has counted for every drivers’ championship since the very first competition in 1950. It has always been held in Monza with only one exception, when Imola hosted the race in 1980. Monza was inaugurated in 1922 and is one of the oldest tracks in the world still to be used, second only to Indianapolis. The team with the most victories at Monza is Ferrari (19 out of 72 total grands prix) while the drivers with the most wins are Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, on five each.