After an exclusive interview with Mario Isola, Head of Car Racing of Pirelli, the official tyres supplier to the premier class of motorsport, we can read the Italian’s words about the behavior of the compounds today and also the forecasts for tomorrow's race.
"In Monaco it is very difficult to overtake so the Qualifying session turns out to be fundamental for the drivers. For example, Verstappen, after the accident in FP3, will start at the back of the grid and will supposedly be free to try any strategy. It is also true that in a circuit that does not allow overtaking, every driver will try to make as much as one stop. Doing two pit stops would mean having a cooler compound and being able to push more, but it would probably be an advantage that is difficult to exploit because rolling on the "traffic" the car suffers the slipstream from the car ahead, losing aerodynamic load and overheating the tire." explains the Italian.
In qualifying we have seen how some teams in Q2 tried to use the Ultra Soft tyre and then discarded it considering the performance differences.
"Today we have seen that in Q2 the drivers have all classified with the Hyper Soft, because there was a difference of one second between the compounds and a fairly small gap, especially among the top teams, and I do not think that we should start the race with the Ultra soft. It would be a clear advantage. Anyway, until now we have understood that the graining phenomenon has manifested more with full tanks, so perhaps putting this compound so soft at the end of the race would mean preserving it a little more.”
"Today everyone has driven with very little fuel on, so we can not have reliable data, and that is why it is quite difficult to understand how the track has evolved, especially with a track that usually improves a lot like Monaco's. So, for this reason, it is impossible to understand how much the graining phenomenon has lowered, even if every team, with their own strategists, will do their calculations and analysis.” reveals the head of Pirelli.
Speaking of Raikkonen's statements after Qualifying, he says: "I read that Kimi has had feeling issues with the tires but attention is always about the classification, in the race it will be very different because the cars will do more laps, so there will be some problems of warm up in the first laps, then the situation will stabilize, and the setback of the temperatures that we have had today will not be tomorrow " concludes the Italian manager.
It remains to be seen then how the competition will develop in the streets of the Principality, not forgetting that an eventual safety car could shuffle the cards on the table opening the range of possibility.