Pirelli heads immediately from one of the quicker tracks seen on the calendar to the very slowest, but at the same time definitely the most glamorous: Monaco. The tight and twisty confines of the Principality are ideal territory for Pirelli’s PZero Red supersoft tyre, which makes its debut in Monaco. For the first time, by extension, it is also twinned with the PZero Yellow soft tyre – which becomes the ‘prime’ nomination after five grands prix as the ‘option’. The PZero Red supersoft is one of the most extreme tyres in Pirelli’s range. While not quite a qualifying tyre, it still provides the ultimate performance offered by any of the PZero line-up. One of its characteristics is the remarkably short warm-up time, meaning that all the performance is available right from the beginning, but its extremely soft compound consistency means that it has an anticipated range of fewer than 10 laps: even less at the beginning of a race when the cars are full of approximately 200 litres of fuel. With the Monaco street circuit characterised by few overtaking opportunities, qualifying is of crucial importance. However, with very little run-off, incidents and interruptions are common. Weather conditions can also vary, making Monaco one of the most unpredictable and exciting events of the year. In the past there have been a number of surprise winners, and the combination of tyres nominated by Pirelli this year give teams scope to improve their prospects through some creative strategies, as has already seen at the previous round in Barcelona.
“Monaco is a fantastic race – says Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director – that makes no sense on the one hand as it’s so different from everywhere else, but it’s still the jewel in the crown of the calendar on the other. We’re very excited to see our PZero Red supersoft tyres making their debut around the twisty streets this weekend, although this type of circuit will obviously be a completely new experience as we’ve only tested on permanent tracks. The supersoft rubber is designed to provide outstanding performance over a short period of time but this comes at the price of durability, so all the teams will have to consider their strategies carefully. Getting it right will make the difference between winning and losing. For longer runs, the PZero Yellow has already proven itself to be a reliable and popular product so far this year, contributing to extremely close racing while providing the drivers with all the confidence they need to push to the maximum. We said from the start that we wanted to give racing back to the racers, and we’re hoping very much that Monaco will be a classic example of this.”