2022 Monaco Grand Prix – Friday
WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED
- Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc topped both free practice sessions at his home grand prix today, using the P Zero Red soft tyre in FP2 and P Zero Yellow medium in FP1.
- The tyre performance and run plan today was very much in line with expectations. Ferrari was the only team to run just the medium tyre in FP1, while only Williams and Aston Martin used the soft in FP1. In the afternoon, the soft and the medium compounds were used nearly exclusively – although Ferrari chose to end the session on the P Zero White hard.
- Conditions were considerably warmer than they were last time in Monaco, with track temperatures in excess of 50 degrees today. This helped tyre warm-up, but as usual there was low wear and degradation. The FP2 session was interrupted by a red flag – a common occurrence around the twisty confines of the Monte-Carlo street circuit – that condensed the run plans.
- At the moment, there’s an estimated performance gap of around 0.4 seconds between the medium and the soft, the two key compounds for the race, and approximately 0.6 seconds between the medium and the hard. However, the performance gaps were disguised somewhat by track evolution, which as always was high.
“Free practice went very much as we expected; perhaps the only surprise was the weather, which was the warmest that we’ve seen in Monaco recently, with track temperatures around 15 degrees hotter than this time last year. The weather might spring a further surprise this weekend too, as it seems that there’s a risk of rain on Sunday. We saw a bit of graining this morning, which was no real surprise on the slippery ‘green’ surface, and we expect the track to continue to evolve this weekend. Today was important for the drivers to establish their reference points here with the new 18-inch tyres, which of course give quite a different perspective on this tight and twisty circuit, where precision is key.”
Formula 2 qualifying was split into two groups as usual to try and mitigate traffic, with all the competitors using the P Zero Purple supersoft tyre (nominated alongside the P Zero Red soft this weekend). As was the case in Formula 1, the action was interrupted by a red flag after Van Amersfoort driver Jake Hughes crashed, which concentrated the session. Nonetheless, Hughes will start from reverse grid pole for tomorrow’s sprint race, with no mandatory pit stops. Liam Lawson claimed pole for Carlin, with the supersoft tyres proving resistant to the high temperatures; capable of setting fast times over multiple laps.