Carlos Sainz Jnr, Renault, Monaco, 2018

One-stop strategy will be “a lot tougher” than expected in Monaco – Sainz

2018 Monaco Grand Prix

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Drivers will find it much harder than expected to run a one-stop strategy in the Monaco Grand Prix, according to Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Before the race weekend Pirelli said they expected the new hyper-soft tyre would be very durable. However after the first day of practice Sainz and other drivers reported degradation was much higher than expected.

Sainz described the hyper-soft as “difficult” but “very fast”.

“I think a lap record [being broken] on Thursday is quite special around Monaco,” he said. “It shows I was not very wrong when I said it was going to be fast.”

“And [there’s] a lot more deg than we were expecting, to be honest. I expected the tyre to last a bit more and it’s degrading quite a lot out there.”

However Sainz doubts the degradation will be severe enough to make overtaking possible around the tight Monaco circuit.

“I think strategically this track has to be a one-stop for overtaking purposes,” he said. “But [it’s] a lot tougher than I think what we all expected after seeing the degradation that we had today.”

Sainz also revealed he clipped a barrier while trying to manage the degradation on his tyres during one stint.

“It was in the long run, it was more a little loss of attention, maybe letting myself run a bit too wide and touching the barriers than really pushing too hard. I was just nursing the tyres and touched the wall. It was a bit of a wake-up call.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 10 comments on “One-stop strategy will be “a lot tougher” than expected in Monaco – Sainz”

      1. Best of all RBR has only 1 set of US and SS which means they dont have done any running on them through any practise sessions. That’s going to throw spanner in works for that team if the drivers manage to mess up during race.

    1. It will always be a 1 stop race. Track position is very important because you can’t overtake the slower cars. An undercut or overcut might work depending on the situation. But I can’t see a top 6 car pit early and go into traffic.

      1. I think it might depend on whether there’s an earlyish SC.

        1. @bosyber
          I think that’d only make it less likely to happen.

      2. @anunaki

        An undercut or overcut might work depending on the situation.

        Undercuts tend not to work in Monaco, or rather: They require a pretty large inherent pace advantage, as the first laps out of the pits are usually not particularly fast. This is why the overcut is the preferred strategy. It usually goes like this: The last driver of a Mercedes/Ferrari/Red Bull who isn’t stuck behind a non-Mercedes/Ferrari/Red Bull waits for a 20-second gap to open behind him (owing to pit stops in the midfield, or simply by building the gap). Optionally, this pit window needn’t be completely free (cf. 2017, when Sainz was circa 10 seconds behind Verstappen, so that Verstappen emerged from the pits circa 10 seconds behind Sainz, and didn’t catch him before Sainz made his pit stop as well. This pit stop creates a pit stop window for the cars ahead, who start pitting one by one after that, most of them trying to run a little bit longer than the car behind them, so as to gain a few seconds compared to the slower out-laps on fresh, cold tyres.

        I think this stretegic situation will still apply even if, or especially when, the tyres are as vulnerable as this article insinuates they might be. In that case, expect a sleeping car train to form at the front of the pack, in which everyone tries to eke out as many laps as possible with these tyres, while waiting for a gap to form between the front-runners and the midfield.

        1. I agree the overcut is the normal way to go. But if the HS tire really drops like Sainz fears it might be the other way around this time.

          Well see

    2. You did a good job describing the default way a Monaco race plays out there nase!

      1. @bosyber
        I guess I did. Uhm, … thanks? :-)
        (My sarcasmometre is giving an unclear reading, so a part of me is wary of being made fun of … ^^)

        1. It made a lot of sense to me too!

    Comments are closed.