F2 on the streets of Monaco with soft and supersoft P Zero tyres
|Yellow soft and Red supersoft P Zero tyres
will be used in Monaco
The FIA Formula 2 Championship drivers will race on the famous streets of Monaco this weekend in perhaps the most prestigious event of the season. Pirelli will provide them with the two softest available compounds in the F2 range: the P Zero Red supersoft and the P Zero Yellow soft, with the former to be deployed for the first time this season. These will offer the optimal grip and performance around the twisty and narrow circuit. Because of the tight confines of the track, qualifying is split into two sessions. Monaco’s own Charles Leclerc of the Ferrari Driver Academy leads the standings in his rookie season after stepping up from the GP3 Series, which is also supplied by Pirelli. Pirelli’s racing manager says: Mario Isola: “Just as in Formula 1, Monaco is probably the most prestigious race in the Formula 2 season. It is not a demanding circuit on the tyres, which is why we bring the two softest available compounds to give the drivers as much grip as possible. Extracting the best from the tyres in qualifying is important to a good weekend as overtaking is difficult, but we have also seen great strategy calls produce top results in Monaco.” The challenge for the tyres: Relatively lower speeds compared to other circuits means mechanical grip from the tyres is key to cornering quickly, rather than the aerodynamics of the cars. Wear and degradation are low, though. There is considerable track evolution over the event, with the public roads starting out very slippery but increasing in grip as more rubber is put down in each session. With F2 sessions taking place at different times of the day, the drivers will face varying conditions every time, making it difficult to gauge performance. Safety cars are a common occurrence in Monaco due to the likelihood of crashes and tight confines of the track. Strategy, and the timing of pit-stops in particular, can be crucial in these moments. The race and the rules: Every car will have five sets of dry tyres and three sets of wet weather tyres available for the F2 race weekend. The five sets of dry tyres comprise three sets of the soft compound and two sets of the supersoft compound. The drivers can use their tyre allocation in any way they like, but at least one set of each compound must be used in the feature race (unless it is a wet race). One set of the harder compound must be returned after free practice. Qualifying, in which the field is split into two groups in Monaco to ensure lap times aren’t unduly influenced by traffic, takes place at 16:15 on Thursday, after practice at 12:00. The Feature Race is on Friday at 11:30 before the circuit is opened back up to the public in the afternoon, and lasts 42 laps with each driver obliged to complete one compulsory pit stop. This cannot take place within the first six laps. Unlike Formula 1, the drivers do not have to start the race using the tyres they qualified on. The grid for the Sprint Race on Saturday at 16:10 is determined by the finishing order of the first race, with the top eight positions reversed. It is run over 30 laps, with no compulsory pit stops.
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