• Rallye Monte-Carlo hosts debut for Pirelli’s latest  tyres designed for revolutionary new Rally1 cars
  • Legendary season opener known for changeable winter conditions
  • P Zero asphalt and Sottozero snow tyres available

Milan, January 17, 2022 – A new generation of hybrid-powered rally cars make their debut when the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship season begins with the legendary Rallye Monte-Carlo. This presents a fresh challenge to Pirelli as the Italian company enters its second season as exclusive supplier to the top category and new-look support series. To equip these revolutionary cars, the entire range of Pirelli P Zero, Scorpion, and Sottozero tyres has been optimised to cope with the extra weight and latest technology of this new-generation formula, with more torque.

The evolution of the species
With a new technical formula, there are new tyres and some new names as well. The latest asphalt tyres (first seen in Spain and Monza last year) as well as the new gravel tyres have benefitted from reinforced structures and an optimised design to cope with the extra weight and torque of the latest Rally1 cars.
As usual, there are three families of Pirelli WRC tyres: P Zero and P Zero Cinturato for asphalt, Scorpion  for gravel, and Sottozero for snow and Ice .
Both the asphalt and the snow tyres will be seen in Monaco this week, with the new J1B studded ice tyre for Sweden making its debut on round two (having evolved from last year’s J1A tyre) before the 2022 gravel tyre is first seen in Portugal.  Following this latest evolutionary step and ongoing development, this year’s hard  and soft Scorpion compounds will be called WRC H A and WRC S A respectively.


Why tyres matter in Monte Carlo
Tyre strategy usually plays a bigger role in Rallye Monte-Carlo than on any other event during the season. Often, drivers can encounter sections of dry asphalt, snow and ice within a single stage, making it impossible to be on the right tyre all the time. Traction and braking in slippery conditions will be even more important with the additional power and torque available to drivers from the hybrid units in each of the new Rally1 cars: Other changes include simpler aerodynamics, mechanical gearshifts and the removal of active centre differentials.

The Pirelli tyres in Monte Carlo
P Zero RA WRC: Pirelli’s regular asphalt rally product is supplied in a soft and a supersoft compound, exclusively for Rallye Monte-Carlo and its cooler temperatures.
P Zero RA: From 2022, WRC2 will be for Rally2 cars and WRC3 for Rally3 cars. These less powerful four-wheel drive cars also have supersoft (RA9) and  soft (RA7+) P Zero tyres available, featuring many of the same characteristics of the WRC tyres fitted to the top cars.
Sottozero STZ-B: A winter tyre for all categories of four-wheel drive cars in case of ice and snow, but also for  mixed conditions: including wet and mud with ice and snow. For Rallye Monte-Carlo in mind, this comes in two versions: with or without studs.

Pirelli quote
Terenzio Testoni, rally activity manager: “The debut of the Rally1 cars is an exciting development at the beginning of the second season of our agreement to supply the WRC. The arrival of hybrid power is a welcome one that maintains the WRC’s relevance to the cars being driven by everyday drivers. As a company, Pirelli has a lot of experience with hybrid including from Formula 1 – but preparing for its use in the varied conditions experienced in the WRC has been a totally different challenge. As a result, we've embarked on a comprehensive development programme starting from last year to align our tyres with the latest demands of the sport. In particular, the tyre structure has been reinforced to deal with around 100 to 120 kilograms of extra weight with the latest cars: a significant increase. On this year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo, tyre choices could be even more critical than usual in order to have the grip needed to make use of the extra 100 Kw of electrical power available. However, an unknown factor is exactly how and when each driver will be able to conserve and use that extra power over the course of a whole stage. Making the most of all the available power and energy effectively is sure to be a key to winning the rally.”

Pirelli in numbers
Pirelli will bring around 4000 tyres to Monte Carlo, of which 1200 will be for the top class of Rally1 cars.
Each of the Rally1 drivers has an allocation of 80 tyres, from which they can use up to 38 during the rally.

  • 24 P Zero RA Super Soft
  • 20 P Zero RA Soft
  • 24 Sottozero STZ-B studded
  • 12 Sottozero STZ-B without studs

Pirelli will also supply 2400 tyres to the other four-wheel drive cars in the event, including those entered in WRC2  Each of the Rally 2 drivers has an allocation of 72  tyres, from which they can use up to 32 during the course of the rally.

  • 20 P Zero RA7+ soft
  • 16 P Zero RA9 super soft
  • 24 Sottozero STZ-B studded
  • 12 Sottozero STZ-B without studs

Pirelli will also supply 400 tyres to the other four-wheel drive cars in the event including those entered in WRC3 Each of the Rally 2 drivers has an allocation of 72  tyres, from which they can use up to 32 during the course of the rally.

  • 20 P Zero RA soft
  • 16 P Zero RA super soft
  • 24 Sottozero STZ-B studded
  • 12 Sottozero STZ-B without studs

The big number: 500. The new Rally1 cars have over 500 horsepower and over 500 newton-metres of torque thanks to the addition of the new hybrid units, which are the same in every car. They complement the power of the existing internal combustion engines – which now run on fully sustainable fuel – under acceleration on the stages, while the cars can also be used in full electric mode on road sections between stages.

What to look out for
For the rally’s 90th edition the service park moves from Gap to Monaco itself, with cars to be serviced where the Formula 1 pitlane and paddock are usually situated next to the harbour. Casino Square will host the start of the rally on Thursday evening and the finish on Sunday afternoon, while all but one of the weekend’s stages are new compared to 2021. These tend to be located closer to the south of France, which means that the weather could be a bit less extreme than some of the deep snow conditions that have been seen in recent years. Among the 11 drivers in Rally1 cars are nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb and eight-time champion Sébastien Ogier, who begin partial programmes for M-Sport Ford and Toyota respectively. The French duo also have 15 Rallye Monte-Carlo wins between them.

Published on: 18 January 2022, 8:20 CET