Nico Rosberg took the victory for Mercedes by using the P Zero Red Supersoft tyre before switching to the P Zero Yellow Soft tyre at his pit stop on lap 25 just as the safety car came out to clear up Adrian Sutil’s stricken Sauber. Team-mate Lewis Hamilton also stopped on the same lap, and Mercedes took their fifth consecutive 1-2 finish and sixth consecutive win.
The tyre wear was minimal, with the top seven stopping only once, and although eighth placed Romain Grosjean pitted twice, one of those stops were for a puncture at the end of the first lap. Indeed it was Lotus driver Grosjean that ran the longest stint on the Supersoft tyre, completing 54 laps on one set. For the soft tyre, five drivers ran 52 laps on one set, including both Mercedes drivers, Daniel Ricciardo’s third placed Red Bull, Fernando Alonso’s fourth placed Ferrari and Jenson Button in the sixth placed McLaren.
The choice of starting tyre was also important in Monaco. Nico Hulkenberg began his race on the Soft for Sahara Force India and made it work for him by climbing from his eleventh place grid-slot to finish fifth. On the flip side, Williams driver Felipe Massa started on the Supersoft and ran for 45 laps before finally switching to the Soft. This helped the Brazilian climb from sixteenth on the grid to seventh at the flag.
Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery was happy how the Pirelli tyres held up around the challenging streets of Monaco. He noted that despite long stints, both compounds of tyre showed excellent durability. He also had time to praise the Marussia team and their driver Jules Bianchi for scoring points for the first time in their history.
“Monaco is synonymous with unpredictability, and once more we saw plenty of action, safety cars and racing incidents,” said Hembery. “Tyre wear and degradation was not an issue, as we saw from the very long stints completed by some drivers even on the supersoft, and the fact that most drivers completed just one stop. The tyres on Grosjean’s car, for example, still had 20% of their rubber left despite having completed more than 50 laps.
“Track temperatures were cooler than they had been for qualifying, but the pace was still such that the top four lapped the rest of the field, with an extremely close fight between the top three. Although we’re running a more durable tyre this year, performance is not generally compromised. As single tyre supplier, the tyres are what the first and the last car on the grid: all the rest is in the hands of the teams.
“Congratulations also to Marussia, who have scored their well-deserved first points in Formula One on our tyres.”