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Monaco GP: Preview - Pirelli

NEWS STORY
17/05/2021

The softest Pirelli compound in the range (called the 'C5', which stands for 'compound 5') makes its grand prix debut in 2021. With the softest line-up in the range nominated for the first time this year, the P Zero White hard tyre in Monaco will be the C3, the P Zero Yellow medium will be the C4, and the P Zero Red will be the C5.

Monaco is not only the shortest lap of the year with the lowest average speed, but it also has the slowest corner of the year. To cope with this, the teams use a high-downforce package with a specific front and rear wing to balance downforce levels. There are also bespoke aerodynamic appendages, as well as adjustments to the steering to provide the extra lock needed to get round the Fairmont Hairpin.

One corner comes quickly after another at Monaco, making it relatively easy to warm up the tyre, especially the softer compounds, and put it into its ideal operating window.

Track Characteristics

Being a street circuit, the track tends to be extremely green and slippery at the start of the weekend, with rapid evolution. As the race weekend takes an unusual format, with no Formula 1 running on Friday and the track open to normal traffic in the evenings (plus most of Friday), the surface can often 'reset' itself before Saturday. Monaco has one of the lowest levels of macro roughness of the season.

Because of the low energy loads going through the tyres, Monaco is traditionally a one-stop race, and there is quite a wide pit stop window during which the stop can be taken.

In 2019, when the race was last run, Lewis Hamilton won with a soft to medium strategy after making an early stop under the safety car on lap 11, then managing this compound brilliantly to the end. The other podium finishers also stopped under the safety car but went to hard tyres.

This year's second test of the 2022 18-inch wet tyres will take place on the Tuesday and Wednesday after the Monaco Grand Prix at Paul Ricard with Ferrari. This will mark the sixth test of the year in total for the 2022 prototype tyres.

Mario Isola: "Monaco is unique, but its absence from the calendar since 2019 only emphasises its specific characteristics and makes us even more pleased to be going back there. Mechanical grip is key to success as is qualifying and strategy, with the renowned difficulty in overtaking. This puts the accent firmly on track position, with the drivers having to extract the very maximum from the softest C5 tyre in qualifying. Strategy tends to be reactive, with teams making their stops at the moment that gives them the maximum advantage on track, thanks also to a wide pit stop window resulting from the very low tyre wear and degradation."

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