Monaco is an anomaly on the Formula 1 calendar – but it is also the most famous race of the year. Its origins from the 1920s are evident, with a slow and narrow track that twists through the centre of the principality, with the famous barriers leave no mistakes unpunished. As usual, Pirelli is bringing the three softest compounds to Monaco, with the C3 being the P Zero White hard, the C4 being the P Zero Yellow medium, and the C5 being the P Zero Red soft.
- Monaco is a race of negative superlatives, including the slowest average lap speed and slowest corner of the year. Maximum mechanical grip is needed first and foremost; hence the softest compounds are nominated.
- Certain parts of the track have been resurfaced this year, but it is a similar street asphalt to what was already there, so should not make much of a difference.
- A one-stop strategy is the norm in Monaco, and it would take something fairly unusual for that not to be the case again this year. The timing of the pit stop is important, as overtaking is extremely tricky.
- There is low grip in Monaco, with comparatively little track evolution (also due to the fact that the track is open to traffic each evening and all day Friday). Coupled with the narrow confines, this makes a safety car quite likely.
- Unlike the last street circuit in Baku, for example, the tyres are always working in Monaco with one corner quickly followed by another. This makes it relatively easy to warm up the compound.
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING
"Unsurprisingly, we’re bringing our softest tyres to Monaco, with the C5 being broadly equivalent to last year’s hypersoft but designed to have less graining in cooler temperatures and to give a greater possibility for the drivers to push hard from the start to the finish of each stint. This means that not as much tyre management is needed as for the 2018 hypersoft, but its excellent performance is still maintained – so we could be in for a fast race, especially compared to last year. Monaco is like nowhere else, but it’s a grand prix where every strategic opportunity has to be grasped, especially if there is a safety car. With overtaking practically impossible – as Daniel Ricciardo proved by winning from pole despite a significant technical problem last year – the time gained and lost in the pits is crucial".
OTHER PIRELLI NEWS
- There is a strong emphasis on the softer compounds at Monaco, with a number of drivers selecting the maximum 11 sets of soft tyres.
- All the cars completed a two-day test at Barcelona after the grand prix last week, with Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas emerging fastest. In addition, Ferrari and Racing Point were running both days a second car to test Pirelli’s 2020 prototype tyres.
- Testing of the new 18-inch Formula 2 tyres that will be competing next year has got underway, with a shakedown completed at Mugello in Italy and more test sessions planned in the coming weeks.
- Pirelli’s first private test of prototype 2020 wet-weather tyres will take place after the Monaco Grand Prix, with Ferrari and Red Bull trying out potential intermediate and full wet tyres for next year at Paul Ricard in France from May 28-29. Ferrari will run just for the first day, while Red Bull will drive for both days.