Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Monaco, 2017

Hyper-soft tyres won’t make Monaco a two-stop race

2018 Monaco Grand Prix

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The Monaco Grand Prix will remain a one-stop strategy race despite the new hyper-soft tyre being available for the first time this weekend.

F1’s official tyre supplier introduced a softer range of tyres this year with the goal of encouraging more two-stop strategy races. But Pirelli’s sporting director Mario Isola said the new hyper soft will be able to do “77 laps, no stop, straight to the end” in Monaco, meaning teams will only have to pit once.

“For sure the hyper-soft is not a ‘qualifying tyre’ in Monaco,” said Isola, “it’s a tyre also for the race.”

“I’m sure that, comparing the numbers [to] what we saw in Abu Dhabi [testing], you can run a decent speed in Monaco with the hyper-soft,” he added.

Isola said the hyper-soft is “a clear step softer compared to the ultra-soft” and will be around one second per lap quicker.

“While super-soft and ultra-soft are quite close, the hyper is a step,” he said. “The point is that Monaco is also a unique circuit. I am not sure we can see the real potential of the hyper-soft in Monaco.

“We’ll probably see something more in Montreal about the hyper-soft. Monaco is very, very low severity.”

Some teams have selected 11 sets of hyper-soft tyres for the weekend, the maximum number of sets they can choose, meaning they have just one set of the super-soft and ultra-soft.

“In Monaco it is always the same,” said Isola. “The softest choice is the one everyone wants to take as long as possible.”

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41 comments on “Hyper-soft tyres won’t make Monaco a two-stop race”

  1. Not soft enough then i want a tyre which drops performance after 10 laps.

    1. Then you’ll need Pirelli to make a one off compound for the dullest race on the calendar. Not likely.

    2. So, like a Super-Ultra-Mega Soft tire that wouldn’t last 2 laps at any other track? Sounds like a serious waste of Pirelli’s time and money.

  2. the new hyper soft will be able to do “77 laps, no stop, straight to the end”

    What. A. Joke.

    Also i cannot express my true feelings about this without getting the comment deleted.

    1. @keithcollantine is there no Chance to get an allowance of foul mouthed comments in cases of perpetuated utter misery such as this?

      1. I was saying Boo-urns…

    2. @mrboerns I’m guessing they’re talking about wear rather than performance. Wear (as in running out of rubber) has never been an issue in Monaco, but I seriously doubt that a hypersoft can give an acceptable performance over 77 laps.

      1. Worth remembering that Monaco is unique in being a slightly shorter distance than other races so that won’t help.

        I miss having 2 or 3 stops.

      2. but I seriously doubt that a hypersoft can give an acceptable performance over 77 laps

        Yes but track position is king. We may see teams holding out for a safety car. Although I would suggest that the likelihood of seeing one early in the race is high given the season so far.

        1. Yeah, and drivers use that to their advantage. Vettel in 2011 comes to mind. It’s one of the unique things about Monaco. Traffic also plays a much bigger part here than in any other track, so that can also be one of the situations that trigger the (presumably) only pit stop for the top drivers.

  3. I don’t think this is that surprising as Monaco has always been the easiest track in terms of tyre wear.

  4. I still don’t get the fascination with pit stops at all. Having said that and accepting that they will be part of races, why not get rid of the rule where you have to make 1 stop? Why not leave open the strategy option for a no stop race? I’m not really talking about Monaco and a no stopper, but every time I hear about these tires I just see how contrived all of this is. Bring all the compounds to every race and let the teams decide.

    1. @darryn yeah whatever maybe but the actual point is we get a completely ridiculous ‘hyper soft’ and now it turns out this thing is so rock hard it can last a race distance. completely different issue i.m.h.o.

      1. @mrboerns

        we get a completely ridiculous ‘hyper soft’ and now it turns out this thing is so rock hard it can last a race distance.

        That’s not even remotely accurate. Monaco is just an extreme track in the sense that it causes next to no tyre wear. There is nothing ‘ridiculous’ about the Hypersoft, on the contrary, it seems to be rather popular with the drivers despite being unusually wear-sensitive. The issue seems to be that you have two contradictory expectations, and now that neither of them are fulfilled, you are twice as angry.

    2. That would add a huge expense to the sport. Bringing every compound for every team in qusntities to accomodate there various strategies. Not to mention the massive waste. One a tyre is on a rim it is destroyed on removal. They can’t reuse unused tyres at another race.

      1. Yeah, well reduce the number of compounds to three; the exact same three for all races. This is getting ridiculous. Remove the mandatory two tire compound rule and let the teams chose what they want to race be it no stops, one stop, two…. whatever. It certainly would reduce cost; the stupid names for the tires…. hyper soft, ultra soft, super soft, soft, medium, medium hard, hard, super hard, ultra hard, hyper hard…. what’s the point?

        1. There was a note …. somewhere, that Pirelli was going to revise the naming of tyres to soft, med and hard, for every race. The teams would know what the mix was, Hyper, Ultra Soft, Medium etc, but the public would only see (and hear) about S, M and H.
          Now why didn’t they think of this 2 years ago.??
          And YES …. count my vote to give the teams the tyres they want and dump this mandatory two compound rule.
          When a Med tyre is faster than a Soft, the whole concept of soft-fast tyres lapping quicker than harder units makes the two compound rule a joke. Be done with it.

      2. So what? Some of these teams have like 500 employees. But really I get your point. I just think having 16 compounds is completely ridiculous and that was my point not clearly stated.

        1. @darryn, but, of course, it won’t be the bigger teams who pay the financial penalty – as Pirelli would probably have to spread the costs of such a move out across the field, much as other tyre manufacturers did in the past, it’ll be a move that probably hurts the smaller teams more.

  5. The Monaco Grand Prix will remain a one-stop strategy race despite the new hyper-soft tyre being available for the first time this weekend.

    Pirelli need to produce Ludicrous Soft tyre.

    1. nice Spaceballs reference +1
      @ruliemaulana

  6. So the tire can do a full race, but still there is an obligation to pit for new tires. This is pretty silly and artificial.

    This way the door is open for luck more than strategy.

    1. Francorchamps (@francorchamps17)
      22nd May 2018, 21:44

      And then people say they can’t watch Formula E because the fanboost makes it “artificial”! F1 is full of gimmicks.

  7. Imagine if the teams were limited to a maximum allocation of each compound …

    … for the entire season.

    1. Imagine there were no limits for amount of tyres the go through at all, and free choice of compounds.
      Less is more and all :)

      1. Then every team would simulate all the data and all teams would end up selecting the same tires and amounts and use them at the exact same times in the race. No one would be on different strategies unless they make a strategical error (i.e. Ferrari every other race). If they do that, Pirelli might just as well provide just 1 compound that can last 100 laps without deg.

        It would be an utter snooze-fest.

      2. Imagine the cost to have to ship around all these different tyre compounds all over the world.

  8. Okay people are moaning about rock hard tyres. Clearly they have short memories. 2010 for eg we had tyres that could last all race and we had good races and a championship that went down to the wire between RB, Ferrari and Mclaren. Monaco has always been a procession. Unless it rains.

  9. It’s pretty straightforward what Pirelli should do i.m.o.:

    the hypersoft should be used and provide 2-stop races at the least tyre-sensitive circuit of the season (Monaco) and the hard should be used and provide 2-stop races at the most tyre-sensitive circuit of the season (Japan, Spain whatever). The choices of tyres for the rest of the tracks should be made accordingly, in order to produce 2-stop races.

    Of course, I don’t expect the geniuses of Pirelli to understand that…

  10. Neil (@neilosjames)
    22nd May 2018, 23:21

    So everyone will trundle round waiting for a VSC… fun fun fun.

  11. Should be interesting to see what teams do with an early (V)SC. Do they swap out their faster HyperSofts or do they wait for another (V)SC?
    Going on US or SS from lap 5 on, how much would that cost them versus staying on HS until further in the race?
    Will Ferrari eat the HS faster then others?
    Qualifying no.11, starting on US and then switch to HS with an early (V)SC will be a nice strategy.
    I guess the top 3 teams can do Q2 on US and then follow the same tactic.

    1. The idea makes sense, but there’s a problem: if you pit at lap 5 and most cars remain on track, you’ll end up at the bottom, you will be slowed down by the slow cars because I don’t know even ferrari, red bull or mercedes how many cars they can overtake at monaco.

  12. I would rather see a special Monaco tyre rule: Pirelli bring only one compound – a special Monaco tyre that is bubble gum soft.

    Give each driver 15 of them for the weekend. No need to use 2 compounds or running different tyres in Q2 for race start.

    This isn’t a typical race so typical tyre rules should not need to be used.

  13. so not only do we not have two stop races. we wouldnt even have a one stop race if the rules didnt make it mandatory. what a joke.

    what is the point if the softest compound with the most hyper name can last for 77 laps? this is even worse than the Bridgestone days. does that mean that the ultra-soft can last 100 laps, and the super soft 150? i think we should consider renaming these compounds. we can call them all: medium-rare.

    1. @vjanik

      so not only do we not have two stop races. we wouldnt even have a one stop race if the rules didnt make it mandatory.

      That’s where you’re wrong. >The fact that a tyre is theoretically able to do an entire race distance does NOT mean it won’t get significantly slower over the course of the race. They say the HS has a lap time advantage of a second over the US. Depending on factors such as the track temperature on race day, this advantage could last for anything between 20 and 30 laps, at which stage a fresh set of US would match those lap times. If we assume that the tyre degradation translates to a linear increase of lap times (in reality, this tends to be exponential, but I’m trying to make a point with a very conservative estimation, that would be even more valid under realistic conditions), and that this degradation is half as fast for the US, the three scenarios (the HS loses a second by lap 20, 25, or 30) translate to the following time gains by switching tyres at the crossover point:
      – 30 laps scenario: 2 seconds over the race distance (including 20 seconds for a pit stop, in reality it’s 18-19 seconds), i.e. the final stint would be 22 seconds quicker than a non-stopper, the lap times about 0.9 seconds quicker at the end of the race. Hardly any benefit from changing tyres, but it’d still make sense if there is enough of a gap to keep the track position when pitting, as the fresher tyres reduce the risk of crashing, and the pace advantage can be a game changer if the race situation changes.
      – 25 laps scenario: 13 seconds over the race distance, lap times about a second quicker at the end of the race. Doesn’t sound like much, but making a pit stop if you’re less than 5 seconds behind the car ahead of you at the end of the first stint would still greatly improve your chances of gaining a place, as the pace advantage would put you right on that car’s tail before the end of the race. Not pitting would be a bit of a gamble in this scenario.
      – 20 laps scenario: 35 seconds over the race distance, lap times about 1.5 seconds quicker at the end of the race.
      Not pitting would be a huge gamble in this scenario, as you’d end up getting caught by much quicker cars, whose pace advantage would keep growing with every lap, 30 laps from the end. Happy defending!
      Theoretically, a two-stopper (e.g. HS-US-HS) would be even quicker, 28 seconds quicker than a non-stopper, over a minute quicker than a non-stopper, with lap times 2.7 seconds quicker at the end of the race. However, this strategy would be impractical, as it’d be difficult to create enough of a gap for an additional pit stop early enough in the race. Mathematically, this could happen as late as lap 70 (15 laps later than required), and therefore too late to compensate for the time lost in the pits, not to mention overtaking another car.

      Long story short:
      Even if the HS is durable enough to last 77 laps, not pitting at all wouldn’t be the best strategy. The only difference the mandatory compound rule makes in Monaco, is the fact that the teams would pit for fresh HS instead of the US.

      1. If the pole sitter wouldnt pit, i doubt you could overtake him with whatever strategy.

        i dont get the point of having a tyre called hyper-soft that can last 77 laps. thats totally ridiculous.

        i would have expected them to have to pit around lap 10 or so. (if the tyres were designed properly).

        Pirelli went one step softer this year, and brought in completely new tyre compounds, and the softest of the entire range can last 77 laps. amazing

        1. @vjanik

          If the pole sitter wouldnt pit, i doubt you could overtake him with whatever strategy.

          I personally doubt it’d be a sensible strategy to stay out on the track and try to defend for the rest of the race against cars that are 2 seconds faster or more. That might work for a time, but as the tread wears thin, keeping temperature in the tyres gets increasingly difficult, and the car starts to slide. Sooner or later, you’re bound to miss an apex, if you manage to keep it out of the wall, and your rivals are going to get past you.

          Also, there would be absolutely no reason for the pole sitter to stay out on the track when the cars behind him start pitting. Their first laps out of the pits will be a bit slower, because it takes several laps to get the tyres up to temperature, so that there’s going to be enough of a gap at that stage of the gap. Not pitting at that stage for no particular reason would be an inexplicable mistake, worse than what we’d normally call a big mistake. There is no plausible scenario in which not pitting makes sense. The tyres may be able to hold on for 77 laps, but that doesn’t make it a sensible strategy.

          i would have expected them to have to pit around lap 10 or so. (if the tyres were designed properly).

          A tyre that crumbles to pieces after 10 laps in Monaco, and you call that ‘designed properly’? Did you miss the four-letter-word storm a few years ago, when Pirelli were told to design tyres that start to hurt after 10 laps on a normal track?

          Pirelli went one step softer this year, and brought in completely new tyre compounds, and the softest of the entire range can last 77 laps. amazing

          You do realise that Monaco is completely different from any other track, and that 77 laps in Monaco are not only 55 km shorter than all other GP distances (i.e. roughly 40 laps on an average track) but also much, much (much much much much) easier on the tyres than 260 km on any other track? There’s exactly one race where you can get anywhere near 77 laps, and that’s Monaco. If they used that same tyre in Barcelona, they’d drive it off the rims after 5 laps of pushing hard, maybe 10 if they drive very slowly.

          Monaco is an extreme one-off race. The tyre range was designed to be usable on all tracks in the calendar, and that’s how it is. If they absolutely wanted to meet your expectations, they’d have to design a tyre that’s at least two steps softer than the HS, or let them drive on chewing gum right away. But that compound would be completely unusable on any other track. If it were really so soft that the drivers would have to pit after 10 laps, nobody would use that tyre! They’d start the race on a harder compound, because pitting after 10 laps in Monaco amounts to strategic suicide.
          There is just no way to make your ideas work. Not even slightly.

        2. That’s not true. Back in 2005 (no tyre changes during the race) Alonso had quite a severe performance drop at the end of the race, similar to what @nase describes. He was overtaken by Heidfeld and Webber, and he ended the race with four other cars a second behind him. And we’re talking about arguably one of the best drivers in the grid with a car that was, at the very least, the second best car that year.

          watch?v=p8RjY5YYrb4

  14. ADUB SMALLBLOCK
    23rd May 2018, 15:17

    I know I gamble too much, but what about one of the lower midfield teams gambling on starting on the Ultras, with the high chance of a safety car early, putting on the Hypers to go the distance?

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