Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Monaco, 2011

Drivers will ‘push hard from start to finish’ in Monaco – Pirelli

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Monaco, 2011Pirelli say the low grip levels at Monaco means tyre conservation will be less of a concern for drivers this weekend.

F1’s official tyre supplier will bring its soft and super-soft compounds for this weekend’s race.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “The super-soft is the only compound that remains unaltered from last year, as it proved to be so effective on circuits like Monaco, but of course the profile has been re-designed to better suit the 2012 regulations.

“With the wear rate being so low in Monaco, the drivers will be able to push at their hardest from start to finish. Tyre strategy will be very important in Monaco, where on-track overtaking is more difficult than anywhere else.”

Michael Schumacher criticised Pirelli’s tyres in the run-up to the Spanish Grand Prix, saying drivers were having to conserve their tyres much more than previously.

Jenson Button said: “Monaco will be the first time this season that we?ll have used Pirelli?s super-soft compound, and I?m really looking forward to it.

“Obviously, we?ll start the weekend using the soft compound tyres, but when we first switch to the super-softs, I know the car’s going to feel very different.”

Add your view on the tyre debate here:

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Monaco Grand Prix articles

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

46 comments on “Drivers will ‘push hard from start to finish’ in Monaco – Pirelli”

  1. I wonder how many might try to do a similar monster-distance on those tyres like Vettel last year. And if this is even possible with the new cars.

    1. Or like Alonso in 2010. I know it was Bridgestone then but it goes to show you can do the distance

      1. It was Bridgestone but on even harder tyres!

    2. @dennis – I think the safety car may have saved Vettel during that race, he was being hunted down up until that point – still it may be worth the risk.

      1. Correction, *red flag

      2. Definitely – He only kept his position because of the red flag. Oh and the stupid rule that allows you to change your tyres!

        1. Not necessarily stupid, you have to be brave to go on a strategy like that anyway. Although I do completely agree with you that he may only have won due to the red flag, his tyres were close to the cliff.

      3. @vettel1 Correct. Although I don’t believe that Button and Alonso would have passed him by virtue of being on a very narrow track, or at least not as easily as many made out.

        1. @andrewtanner – Vettel is no armature, he’d put up a fight! The RB7 was pretty consistently fast anyway so he had a bit of a jump on the competition, but not by much

  2. Some comments from Ted on the wear distribution differences between this and last year’s tyres seem to make me think that it could not be the same story this year.

    Vague comment is vague.

  3. Looks like JEV started the Spanish GP on different tires. His left rear was hard and other tires were soft. Why no action taken?

    1. @sainaa
      I doubt that it would be possible to drive a car with two so vastly different tyres on each side of a rear axle.
      Couldn’t the paint on the tyre wall just have been scraped off after contact with another car?
      Otherwise I am quite sure he would have been shot at dawn by the stewards.

      1. It’s not impossible to drive with two different compounds. Watch Auto GP or GP2 for that matter, they do it all the time for a quicker pit stop.

      2. – Edited – It’s not impossible to drive with two different compounds. Watch Auto GP or GP2 for that matter, they have to run both compounds in the race, but will sometimes put softs on just the rear, or just the front. They do it all the time for quicker pit stops.

    2. No, the tyre markings on the one side were removed with contact at the first corner.

      1. Yes, Jev said that on twitter himself that contact on the first lap had scrubbed the paint off.

    3. JEV? Can’t work it out after a 11 hours shift -.-

      1. Jean-Eric Vergne

        1. Ohhhh -.- Cheers.

          1. He really should get Jos Verstappen to complain to FOM so he can have JEV replace VER on the graphics. Jos might still come back. Uh huh.

    4. Saw this as well. Turns out he rubbed against DIR’s front right.


  4. Pirelli are talking rubbish! Supersofts will be gone after 10-15 laps. No one’s gonna be flat out in the race.. Preserving tires will be priority once again!

    1. @ru70 I seem to believe that our Lord and Master Keith said the same about the supersofts in the Monaco buildup last year, yet Vettel managed 30-40 laps on one set of tyres whilst still keeping the likes of Alonso and Button behind him right up until the red flag restart.
      As said in the article, Monaco has a much lower wear rate than the other tracks, which means the tyres should be able to last longer assuming they are put through the same amount of energy.. If a driver decides to use up all of his supersoft tyre on one lap in the race, then that’s his fault..
      Anyway, the tyres are the same for everyone, I don’t see why it should make any difference…

      1. I like my new title.

        1. It’s all part of my desperate bid to get COTD @keithcollantine ! :P

          1. Haha :D Brilliant!

  5. I think Monaco is the most interesting race on the calendar when it comes to strategy, especially since one stop may not be enough. Last year Vettel looked set to make it work (by accident, if I recall correctly, because the plan was to go super soft for the second stint as well), but several others failed to make it work, resulting in the huge pile-up that caused the much-lamented red flag. Moreover, with the soft compound softer than last year, a one-stopper could prove even more challenging this year.

    What might make this year’s Monaco even more interesting is that the gaps between the teams are so small. Last year, the front runners could pull out a big gap in the first 15 laps, and pit safely without having to worry about rejoining behind, say, Felipe Massa who is doing a long first stint on the soft tyres. On every other track, the combination of fresher tyres, KERS and DRS give the attacking driver at least a good chance of getting by. At Monaco, however, an ill-timed or slow stop (oh dear McLaren…) could completely ruin a race.

  6. I don’t think any car would be “well suited” for Monaco. Monaco is a low downforce circuit with very few metres of straights. That means basicilly everything that creates downforce is more then welcome, whatever the drag penalty is, and a good mechanical grip. But most F1 cars are aerodynamic-efficient: having the best downforce/drag coëfficient. What you need in Monaco is on every legal spot bodywork that creates downforce, a very specific package, though I do not see that happen due the RRA. The last team to build a circuit-specific package was Red Bull for Monza last year, and they were accused of violating the RRA.
    So the teams are basicilly stuck with the cars they have; they only differ very little from eachother concerns aerodynamics, but concerning mechanical grip McLaren might have the edge: their chassis is lower than the others, meaning a lower CoG and thus more grip.

    1. Well, around Monaco, the effect of both down force and drag is significantly less than at the other tracks, as the cars aren’t cornering at speeds high enough (in general) for the Aero to be effective. It is still very important, just less so in comparison to other tracks.

      I think what we’ll discover is that the cars that go well are naturally well balanced, and have good mechanical grip. I think another important factor will be whether teams can get heat into their tyres, anyone who has been hard on their tyres so far this year stands to gain I think.

  7. Whoever gets pole (as long as they drive well) will probably win the race, and judging by that it is quite likely it will be Hamilton who wins. The Red Bull’s were good at Monacco the last two years as they normally have good traction and plenty of downforce, so they may also do well.

    1. Monaco has a long reputation as being a tough track to pass. Your prediction as to the Pole Sitter eventually winning is well supported by precedent

      1. @javlinsharp – it also is more about the driver, so I think the more experienced in the pack such as Alonso and the Mclaren drivers are more likely to prevail. Sadly, I don’t think there’ll be any surprises, but you never know..

  8. Its Raikkonen turn to win, or Hamilton..

  9. I am just glad that Tire Deg factor is expected to be less important for this GP. My personal feeling is that these tires degrade WAY too fast. I know, its the Drivers job to respond, and its the same for everyone, but it just seems artificial.

    The ban on Traction Control made sense to me because it tests a driver’s skill in giving inputs to the car. But Tire Deg seems to go to far. Its like making an Olympic Sprinter to carry rocks, or a Footballer to cover one eye, or like making any one of us perform our vocation while standing on one’s head. Sure, you can do it, but why? What does it prove?
    For me, that answer is “nothing, it proves nothing at all”.

    1. Don’t believe if Pirelli PR hype, of course they are going to say that after the recent bad PR

    2. @javlinsharp – I support Pirelli in making the tyres more degradable, I think it’s the rules that are the problem. Although it would be nice to see a less significant drop-off, so drivers feel more obliged to take risky tyre strategies.

    3. It’s the tyre temperature lottery that is the problem. If you set the car up perfectly and then a cloud comes over the track, lowers the temp a bit, and means your car suddenly sucks, then the whole thing just becomes too random.

  10. What i dont get is pirelli talk about monaco being low grip but surley that means more sliding and wheel spining and more tyre wear.

    1. Think low abrasion, not low grip. The tyres have less to wear against.

  11. I am wonder what the difference between these two compounds!
    since the supersoft not altered, but soft become more degradable!

  12. Rubbish, of course they won’t be able to drive flat out, it might be less of a factor here more than anywhere else though.
    Another weekend of the Pirelli formula coming up, I didn’t realise they had already brought the formula one rights but it seems they are running the show.

    Maybe it should be called ‘Formula P’

    1. Well they are taking the ‘P’

  13. I know this isn’t the right place to ask the question, but I couldn’t seem to make the Forum work.
    Yesterday I watched a replay of Monaco 2010 (or 2009) on Sky with BUT sprinting up to the royal stand at the finish. And of course, he took off his helmet and gloves, had a drink and enjoyed the success. But he didn’t get weighed. As far as I could tell, none of the three podium winners actually got weighed.
    Do separate rules apply to Monaco?

  14. This sounds pretty defensive from Pirelli, like they’re trying to address some concerns.

    Not that it bothers me of course. We’re 5 races in to what is a cracking season thus far. Still, it wouldn’t be Formula 1 if people weren’t over-reacting to a non-issue.

  15. I really hope this turns out to be correct. Seeing the cars being thrown around the principality with the rear end doing some skipping and dancing around is one of the greatest joys of watching F1 overall. Especially at Anthony Noghes, with its outside guard rail that just seems to be a magnet for rear wheels and tires, such that when a driver gets it right it looks like they’re just barely escaping its gravitational pull, lap after lap after lap.

    That said, Im skeptical. I think the lack of EBDs (relatively speaking, given that the teams still run them in a much less potent form) this year will exacerbate the wear of the rear tires significantly. We’ve seen teams struggle much more with aero balance this year and this seems to manifest itself in disproportional rear tire degradation. On the other hand, since Monaco is pretty low-speed, any ‘traction events’ happen at lower speed, and therefore lower energy, so maybe the rubber wont be as prone to falling apart.

    At the very least this statement seems to show the right kind of attitude about the racing from Pirelli, so Im glad to see it.

  16. I’ll accept charges of it being a ‘tyre lottery’ when we see a Caterham or an HRT getting on the podium. As far as I can see it, the fast cars are still fast, the slow cars are still slow, and there’s a little bit of a midfield reshuffle. Same as every other year.

Comments are closed.