Pirelli Motorsport‘s Mario Isola says that the C5 tyres, the softest compound in Pirelli’s 2019 Formula 1 range, require less “tyre management” in comparison to the hyper-softs used in ’18.
Pirelli revised its tyre line-up and naming system for ’19, reducing the number of dry compounds to five (down from seven) and electing a soft, medium and hard compound for each race to ease confusion among different compound names.
The Italian tyre giants will bring its softest selection to the Monaco Grand Prix, the C5s, C4s and C3s, due to a high emphasis on low-speed mechanical grip and a lack of high-stress fast corners around the streets of Monte-Carlo.
Isola explained that the C5 tyres are less-prone to graining in cooler conditions than the previous hyper-softs, despite being the ’19 equivalent.
He predicts that there is a greater chance for drivers to push throughout a stint without having to worry about the hinderance of excessive tyre management.
“Unsurprisingly, we’re bringing our softest tyres to Monaco,” said Isola.
“The C5 [is] broadly equivalent to last year’s hyper-soft but designed to have less graining in cooler temperatures and to give a greater possibility for the drivers to push hard from the start to the finish of each stint.
“This means that not as much tyre management is needed as for the 2018 hyper-soft, but its excellent performance is still maintained – so we could be in for a fast race, especially compared to last year.”
Last year’s Monaco race was won by Daniel Ricciardo, then of Red Bull Racing, even though the Australian was hampered by an MGU-K failure – resulting in a 25% loss of power – with 51 laps of the 78-lap race to go.
Monaco’s tight nature allowed the current Renault F1 Team driver to hold off the strong attentions of Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel to take his seventh and most-recent F1 victory.
The race also boasts a high attrition rate, usually resulting in a number of Safety Cars, which can alter strategies drastically.
Isola pointed out that Ricciardo’s victory 12 months ago proves the importance of strategy and good pitstops around Monaco, particularly given that it is typically a one-stop affair.
“Monaco is like nowhere else, but it’s a grand prix where every strategic opportunity has to be grasped, especially if there is a safety car,” he added.
“With overtaking practically impossible – as Ricciardo proved by winning from pole despite a significant technical problem last year – the time gained and lost in the pits is crucial.”