Ultra soft tyres for Monaco and Canada

2016 F1 season

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Pirelli’s new ultra soft tyre will be used for the first time in the Monaco Grand Prix, F1’s official tyre manufacturer has confirmed after announcing its compound choices for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The ultra soft tyre will be the mandatory Q3 tyre for the race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The super-soft and soft compounds will also be available for drivers to select.

Two sets of soft tyres will be mandatory for the race, meaning each driver must have two sets available and use at least one of them.

As teams’ tyre choices for non-European races must be announced 14 weeks in advance compared to eight weeks for European rounds, the Canadian Grand Prix tyre choices have been announced before the Spanish and Monaco Grand Prix selections.

Update: Pirelli’s original press release and social media communications stated the ultra-soft tyre would ‘make its debut in Montreal’. They have since indicated it will in fact be used for the first time in Monaco. The article has been updated to reflect that.

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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...

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32 comments on “Ultra soft tyres for Monaco and Canada”

  1. Isn’t this slightly unusual? Or is because they didn’t get to test the ultrasoft tyres before they had to make a decision (if I’m reading this right, which I may not)

    1. The ultra soft was tested last week.

      If there is logic in play, I’m not seeing it. What is the point if the tyre isn’t going to be used at circuits where the soft is much too hard?

      1. EDIT – according to Pirelli, the tyre will debut in Monaco but will also be used in Canada as well.

        It’s my guess that the mistake being passed around is because they need to make and ship the tyres earlier for the fly-away races.

        Also, Pirelli still suck.

  2. Or is there still the possibility that Monaco will still be announced?

  3. What a joke Pirelli are.

    1. Why, because they can’t make hundreds of bespoke F1 tyres at a moment’s notice? Or because someone made a mistake in a press release? A mistake which, by the way, has been corrected.

  4. well there goes my theory of saving it for the famous Monaco Grand Prix, I am actually shocked they have done this, it was the perfect tyre for Monaco, I’m just confused now

    1. They are a bunch of clowns just like the whole Formula 1 circus.

  5. I can’t get my head around these rules.

  6. spafrancorchamps
    27th February 2016, 13:20

    I don’t understand the conclusion of the article. Who says that because the tyre has been selected for the Canadian GP, it can’t also be selected for the Monaco GP? The tires for the Monaco GP still have to be confirmed.

    1. Pirelli has said the tyre will make its debut in Canada. It can’t make a debut in Canada if it has already been used in Monaco!

      1. Is it possible that they guy who wrote that press release, forgot that Monaco takes place before Canada even though the its tire selection deadline comes later?

        1. Good point, but isn’t it possible that Pirelli haven’t made the ultra soft available for Monaco ?

      2. @keithcollantine, it seems Pirelli has since corrected themselves and now announced the debut for Monaco.

      3. It seems “make its debut in Canada” meant “make its Canadian debut”. Just bad phrasing.

        1. Actually, from the tweets it’s clear they made a mistake. What an error.

    2. Finally, they say:

      @F1 @GrandPrixF1Can our mistake the #PZero Ultrasoft will be present at the #CanadianGP, but debuts in Monaco.

      spafrancorchamps, @keithcollantine

  7. why on earth are the ultra-softs not coming to monaco

  8. Please correct me if im wrong,but wouldnt the Ultra Soft be a horrible compound to run at the Canadian gp with the high speeds and temperature? Historically hasn’t pirelli used harder compounds for higher speed circuits?

    1. Devin, the average lap speed around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve isn’t especially high – it has only the 10th highest average speed, and most of the corners are low to medium speed (it is the long straights that bring the average lap speed up).

      If you take into account the fact that the tyres are not especially heavily loaded through the turns and the track surface itself is not especially abrasive, the teams have traditionally not needed a tyre with a particularly stiff construction. In fact, generally Montreal has been one of the easiest races for the teams in terms of tyre wear – it’s usually been far harder to deal with brake wear and fuel management than tyres.

      1. Anon, thanks for clearing that up. I was under the impression that a circuit hard on the brakes would be hard on the tires as well.

        1. Unless the drivers lock the brakes and damage the tyres through flat spotting, braking events are not especially severe for the tyres.

          Cornering events that shear the surface of the tyre across the track will cause greater wear and increased heating due to hysteretic deformation of the tyre sidewalls. Circuits like Montreal or Monza might see the cars reach high top speeds and therefore have intensive braking events, but with most of the corners on those circuits being slow or medium speed, they are quite easy on the tyres. On a similar line, although circuits such as Monaco or Singapore may have a great number of corners, they are generally very slow speed corners where the tyres are subjected to fairly low lateral loads.

  9. So the tyre selection for Monaco will be super-soft, soft and medium? That’s very strange and it would be very disappointing if true.
    Maybe they said that the ultra-soft will debut in Canada because they haven’t announced the tyre selection for Monaco yet. I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t bring the ultra-soft to Monaco, honestly.

    1. Ultra-soft/super-soft/soft for Monaco as well.

  10. They should have introduced a new harder compound instead of the ultrasoft and should have called it a super hard [to drive on] tyre.

  11. The ultra soft tyre will be the mandatory Q3 tyre for the race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The super-soft and soft compounds will also be available for drivers to select.

    Two sets of soft tyres will be mandatory for the race, meaning each driver must have two sets available and use at least one of them.

    Okay I understand the second sentence – what it means though not why such a rule would exist. As for the first sentence – if the UltraSoft is ‘mandatory’, how can there be alternatives?

    1. I’m not 100% on this, but just my understanding … so please correct me. But as I understand it Pirelli will make (for example) a) ultra soft b) soft c) hard tyres available, the teams can select which two sets of tyres they want to use for the weekend … but they have to use the ultrasofts

      24.1.a) Three specifications of dry-weather tyre at each Event, each of which must be visibly distinguishable from one another when a car is on the track.


      24.2.b) No less than nine weeks before the start of each Event held in Europe, and fifteen weeks before the start of each Event held outside Europe, the FIA will provide all competitors with the following information relevant to the Event in question:
      i) Which tyre specifications will be made available by the Supplier.
      ii) The mandatory dry-weather race tyre specification(s) (up to two).
      iii) The mandatory dry-weather Q3 tyre specification (which will always be the softest of the three specifications).
      Competitors must then inform the FIA, no less than eight weeks before the start of each Event held in Europe and fourteen weeks before the start of each Event held outside Europe, which specifications of dry-weather tyres they wish to use for each of their drivers at the Event. From the thirteen sets of dry-weather tyres available to each driver:


    2. @lockup
      I’m equally confused. It also says two sets of soft tyres are mandatory for the race, then says they only have to use one?? Does that mean they need two completely new sets left over from qualifying?

    3. Pirelli chooses a compound that HAS to be used in the race. The teams are allowed to choose two different compounds. The teams have to use the compound Pirelli chose in the race as well as at least one compound the team chose. So the teams can run three different compounds in a race if they want to, but if they don’t they still have to use two. Please anybody correct me if I’m wrong. I am sure it will become clearer once we have seen it in action.

    4. I think Keith’s wording might be confusing. I read it as Ultra Soft being mandatory for Q3 of the race weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. But not mandatory for the the race.

      1. okay thanks @pedalmonkey @aliced @grippgoat. My mind has been trying to protect me by blanking out the insanity.

        I suppose it would’ve been too simple to just let teams choose from among the raceable tyres for each circuit.

  12. Following this update from Pirelli the article above has been revised.

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