Formula One tire Supplier pirelli has stood behind their new 2017 compounds, saying that their ultrasoft tires can go the full race distance in Monaco.
Pirelli was given a tall order from the start of the season: supply a new form of tyre. Wider, thicker, and more capable of standing up to the brutal punishment the rubber must endure while out on the track. Formula One tyres are subjected to forces that no other form Motorsport can manage. As such, only the best compounds are to be used for prime performance.
Thus far, they’ve had some misses along the way, but their fortune and confidence in the compound is something that is continually improving as time goes on. Certainly, they’ve never had the sort of struggle that Michelin succumbed to last year when they took on their first stint as tyre suppliers for MotoGP.
The upcoming Monaco grand prix is set to feature a cluster of tight and aggressive turns throughout the entirety of the street circuit, and teams are preparing their strategies in anticipation. As it stands, the entire grid is expected to run Pirelli’s ultrasoft compound. And that’s just fine with Pirelli. Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola said that the company has had zero degradation on their most updated compound simulation:
“We had zero degradation, more or less. In the second session race simulations were very consistent. This was expected. We have a delta lap time between the ultrasoft and the supersoft which is around 0.7s. Probably during the race this number is going to be smaller, but this is normal.
I suppose everybody is looking at a long stint on the ultrasoft. We will see, because here the safety car chance is quite high.
Maybe somebody is starting on the supersoft, and if we have a safety car, it is possible to change, put an ultrasoft, and run all the race.
Wear is not an issue, degradation is not an issue. Looking at the tires today they were perfect, no blisters, no graining, nothing.
They have different strategic options basically because they can change when they want, depending on the race conditions. If the safety car is not at the beginning, we can also have a different situation.” – Mario Isola
Although the drivers are lucky to have the incredible grip of the ultrasoft compound, that may not matter for much when they are duking it out on the streets of Monaco. The Monaco Grand Prix is not Formula One’s crown jewel for no reason. In a way, it harkens back to the root of danger and life on the edge that Formula One embodies. A surplus of grip will do a driver little favor when they come blazing in the Grand Hotel Hairpin that demands absolute sub ordinance from driver and car alike. Still, it is good to see that Pirelli is managing to move its compound ever-closer to the FIA-issued specifications.