The brand new P Zero Pink hypersoft compound, which in testing has shown itself to be about a second a lap quicker than the ultrasoft, makes its competition debut in Monaco this weekend alongside the two other softest compounds in the Pirelli Formula 1 line-up: ultrasoft and supersoft. With Monaco requiring a high level of mechanical grip but putting the least stress on a tyre of any track all year, the prestigious street circuit is ideal territory for the softest and fastest Formula 1 tyres available.
The circuit from a tyre point of view
Monaco is all about generating as much grip from tyres and downforce settings as possible, being the shortest and slowest lap of the year (with the hairpin being the slowest corner).
• As a street circuit that’s open to normal traffic outside the sessions (with a day off on Friday), there is frequently a ‘green’ and slippery surface, with a variable pattern of track evolution.
• Monaco has nearly always been a one-stopper under normal circumstances: it remains to be seen whether or not the use of the new hypersoft will alter this trend in any way.
• Wear and degradation rates are generally the lowest of the year: it’s an easy track on tyres.
• It’s one of the circuits where it’s hardest to overtake, so qualifying is all-important, but there’s a reasonably high risk of a safety car too; which can obviously affect race strategy.
• Weather can vary at this time of year; a wet Monaco is one of the biggest challenges in Formula 1.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola comments on what to expect ahead of the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix in terms of tyre management: “We have tested the hypersoft in Abu Dhabi and Barcelona: of those two, Abu Dhabi is a better comparison to Monaco and there we saw that the hypersoft was worth about a second per lap than the ultrasoft; so we could see some more records broken this weekend. Nonetheless, the hypersoft is definitely a race tyre rather than a qualifying tyre, so it will be interesting to see how it adapts itself to the unique demands of Monaco, and what effect it has on strategy. Collecting as much data about it as possible in free practice will be particularly important. The drivers have all each nominated between eight and 11 sets of hypersoft, so we should see plenty of running on it throughout the weekend, if it stays dry of course.” – Mario Isola explained, as reported by Pirelli’s official website.
• The Pink hypersoft makes its debut, exactly two years after the Purple ultrasoft was first seen – also in Monaco. Both were named by fans on social media.
• There are some new two-storey pit buildings, making life a bit easier for mechanics.
Min starting pressures (slicks)
17.5 psi (front) / 17.5 psi (rear)