The Pirelli-equipped FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 championships move from Spa-Francorchamps to Monza in the space of less than a week. Monza is the home circuit for the Italian tyre company and the penultimate round for both series this year. So it’s a fitting venue for Formula 2 to provide an intriguing taste of the future, thanks to a surprise special display during the weekend from a driver who is very closely associated with this iconic track.

The challenge

• As a lap of Monza is dominated by long straights, teams run the lowest downforce settings of the season to maximise straight-line speeds: among the highest of the season. This means that the cars are more dependent on mechanical grip from the tyres for cornering.

• The most significant forces on the tyres at Monza come under braking and traction in the chicanes that punctuate the long straights. Lateral forces are greatest through the long Curva Grande and Parabolica corners.

• Adding to the stresses on the tyres are the big kerbs on the chicanes, which drivers use heavily in order to take the fastest line.

The tyres and strategy

• The P Zero Yellow medium and P Zero Red soft tyres have been nominated for F2 at Monza: the same as at the last two rounds at the Hungaroring and Spa, but different to Monza one year ago, when the medium and supersoft were supplied.

• In F2, each driver has five sets of slick tyres to use over the weekend: three medium and two soft. They also have three sets of wet-weather tyres. During race one, where there is a mandatory pit stop, both compounds have to be used unless it is declared a wet race. Pit stops are optional in race two.

• Just one tyre is nominated for each F3 round: at Monza it’s the soft. This was previously used earlier this season in Austria.

• F3 drivers will get three new sets of the soft tyre, plus one carry-over set of medium tyres from the previous round, which must be returned after free practice. There are two sets of wet-weather tyres as well.

What happened last year?

Tadasuke Makino took a surprise win in the F2 feature race from 14th on the grid after choosing to start on the medium tyre, which helped him to take the lead by the end of lap five having passed those who started on the supersoft tyres. George Russell won the sprint race, using the medium tyres throughout. In GP3, David Beckmann won race one on the wet tyres on a drying track, while Pedro Piquet and Giuliano Alesi staged a thrilling fight for race two – watched on by their fathers, former Formula 1 drivers Nelson and Jean – with Piquet eventually coming out on top.


Mario Isola, Pirelli head of F1 and car racing: “After an extremely difficult weekend in Spa, following the tragic passing of Anthoine Hubert, we move on to Monza. Our home circuit is also known as the ‘Temple of Speed’, which accurately describes the track characteristics. Finding the right compromise with grip despite the low downforce levels is always a challenge, as well as managing the compounds against the considerable stresses that are imposed on them by this historic circuit. Another difficulty will be balancing the set-up of the car in different weather conditions, as at this time of year both hot and cool temperatures are possible, which clearly affects how the front and rear work together.”


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