Friday, July 19, 2024

Pirelli’s Mario Isola: Softest compound step to be used at “unique” Monaco circuit

After the cancellation of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix due to excessive flooding, Pirelli Motorsport Director Mario Isola outlines his expectations for this year’s Monaco Grand Prix

“We’re heading to a Monaco Grand Prix that’s somewhat different to what we expected. It should have been the second race of a European triple-header but instead it’s going to be the first due to the cancellation of Imola.”

Isola shared that those affected by the extreme weather in the Emilia Romagna region remain at the front of mind for Pirelli. 

“Those images of devastation are still fresh in our minds and we want to express our solidarity once more with the families of the victims, as well as all those who have suffered such huge losses.” 

As F1 moves onto the next round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, Isola said that the unusual features of the historic Monte Carlo circuit often lead to shock results and unexpected incidents– making it a “one-off” fixture of the season.

“Monaco has written its own chapter in the history of Formula 1. The characteristics of this unique circuit, largely unaltered for more than 60 years, make it a true one-off that has often sprung surprises. 

“No other track can allow a driver to compensate for any technical shortcomings of their car in the same way, and just one incident can shake things up entirely.”

Isola said that narrow streets that make up the circuit leave little room for on-track overtaking, which amplifies the pressure of assuming the optimum grid position on Saturday. 

“The difficulty of overtaking can sometimes detract from the spectacle in the race, but that only makes Saturday’s qualifying all the more exciting, as grid position assumes a particular importance to the final result on Sunday.”

Track evolution is another factor of interest in Monaco, Isola noted, with the circuit reopening after each days’ sessions to allow for local traffic to resume. The result is a “more slippery” racing line for drivers to contend with through the weekend. 

“As is often the case on street circuits, Pirelli has nominated the softest tyres in the range. One of the peculiarities of Monaco is the fact that the track is opened to normal traffic every evening, which means that it’s very hard for rubber to build up on the racing line, making the surface even more slippery.”

With last time out in Monaco providing a soaking Sunday race, Isola added that the coming round provides yet another chance for the new full-wet tyre to make its debut. 

“With Imola having been scrubbed, Monaco could now become the debut for the new Cinturato Blue full wet without tyre blankets, obviously depending on weather conditions: another potential random factor this weekend.”

Credit: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images / Pirelli Media