Pirelli will supply its supersoft compound tyres to the GP2 Series competitors contesting round three in Monaco from 26-28 May.
The supersoft compound is the softest of the four tyre types in the Pirelli P Zero range and has been developed specifically for the new-for-2011 GP2 car. It provides peak grip and performance from the very start on tight and twisty circuits such as the Monaco street course, the only track where the softest of Pirelli’s four GP2 tyre compounds will be used this season.
Although the supersoft compound degrades more than the other tyres in the P Zero range, the low-speed nature of the 3.340-kilometre circuit means the tyre will not be subjected to significant wear as Pirelli’s Racing Manager, Mario Isola, explained: “Monaco will be the only GP2 round where we will bring our supersoft compound tyres because we do not expect to encounter significant levels of tyre degradation.”
“Being a street circuit, Monaco is slow in terms of average speed but it will still be a very challenging and special experience for our young drivers, who will have to contend with its twisty layout and slippery surfaces,” said Isola. “The Pirelli P Zero soft slicks should provide them with the grip they need to put on a great show for all the fans.”
Trident Racing driver Stefano Coletti, who comes from Monaco, commented: “Racing on home ground in Monaco is going to be a special occasion for me and I’ll need to be fully concentrated when the action gets underway. It will be a bit trickier this time because I’ll be using a type of tyre never tested before. For this reason I’ll have to pay strong attention to the feeling I’ll get from the rubber while I’m driving.”
He continued: “The new Pirelli tyres are a very sophisticated product with excellent levels of performance. You first have to get to know them well and then you can push to the limit and enjoy racing, keeping in mind that degradation levels have been increased this year. Because of this they can vary according to how abrasive the circuit is and how high the track temperatures are.”
Along with Valencia, Monaco is one of the two street circuits on the GP2 Series calendar this year. The track is tight, twisty and bumpy and requires a perfect set-up in terms of balance and high downforce. The lap consists of 18 corners, including the slowest of the year: the famous hairpin in front of the old station, which is taken in first gear at approximately 30kph. There are no run-off areas and very few overtaking opportunities, so a high grid position and good start can make all the difference.
Unlike the other GP2 race weekends, the Monaco round will take place from Thursday to Saturday, with only the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix on the schedule for Sunday 29 May.
On Thursday 26 May, the GP2 drivers will practice in the morning, straight after Formula One’s first free practice session. GP2 qualifying will get underway in the afternoon, following Formula One’s second practice.
On Friday 27 May, track activities will be restricted to the morning, with GP2’s main race starting at 11:15 local time during which Pirelli’s tyres will complete 42 laps over a distance of 140.280km.
Following qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, the GP2 sprint race will get underway at 16:10 on Saturday 28 May and covers a total of 30 laps or 100.200km.
With the trip to Monaco not forming part of the GP3 programme for 2011, the next stop on the calendar is Valencia, Spain, from 24-26 June.
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