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Italian GP: Preview - Pirelli

NEWS STORY
27/08/2018

For Pirelli's home F1 race at the 'Temple of Speed', it's the same nomination that has been in place for a couple of years - medium, soft and supersoft - but, as usual in 2018, with all the compounds a step softer compared to last season and the cars faster than ever. Monza is one of the fastest circuits of all thanks to its long straights, which places some of the highest centrifugal forces of the year through the tyres. As one of only four tracks to have been on the F1 calendar since the inaugural 1950 season, there's always a passionate fan base at Monza, in a country that remains synonymous with grand prix racing.

A one-stopper was chosen by the majority of drivers last year, with the fastest lap of the race being more than two seconds faster than 2016.

In 2017, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo used an alternative soft-supersoft strategy (with a late pit stop) to finish 4th, making up 12 places in the race after picking up grid penalties. He also set fastest lap.

Although the cars are faster than they have ever been, this speed increase comes in the corners, so the benefits aren't always obvious at Monza, which is dominated by straights.

The weather is usually dry and warm, although heavy rain affected qualifying last year.

Teams run a special low downforce package at Monza to reduce drag on the long straights.

Among the top three teams there's a wide divergence in the tyres chosen: all six Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull drivers have made different choices.

After the Italian Grand Prix, Pirelli's 2019 development programme continues at Paul Ricard in France with McLaren from September 5-6, assessing wet tyres.

Mario Isola: "At Monza we have the same nomination as Belgium the weekend before: another rapid and historic Formula 1 venue. Monza is all about longitudinal rather than lateral forces though, where engine power also plays an important part. The latest generation of cars means that speeds will be generally even higher, while the compound nomination is effectively one step softer this season. It's going to be interesting to see which effect this has, at a race that has always been won with a one-stopper over the past few years. Although qualifying well at Monza is historically important, Daniel Ricciardo's impressive performance last year showed how strategy can make a vital difference. We've already seen plenty of variation in the tyres that the teams have selected for the weekend, which demonstrates some different schools of thought when it comes to tyre strategy."

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