(Pirelli Motorsport Media)
Practice for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix took place today as in the Principality as we all know the race schedule is structured slightly differently as the first on track action happens on a Thursday instead of the usual Friday as on a Monaco Grand Prix weekend, Friday is a public holiday and therefore a rest day for Formula One.
This year Pirelli chose to bring a brand new super soft compound tyre for the Monaco Grand Prix. It is the first time this season that we have seen the red walled compound however during today’s afternoon session due to the fact that was a wash out only one set of the Super Soft compound was used which covered just three KM’s.
Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time for Mercedes in both of today’s free practice sessions. In the opening session this morning, Hamilton set a time of 1m 18.750s on new set of the Soft compound tyres while in the second session his time of 1m 17.192s was also set on a new set of Soft tyres.
During this morning’s session, Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen and Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo who ended up second and third respectively set their fastest times on used Soft rubber.
In total today 2,668KM were completed using the yellow walled Soft compound tyre with 57 sets of that compound used over the course of the day while the longest stint on those tyres was 39 laps.
A total of 33KM’s were completed on the Intermediate tyre with 20 sets used while 3 sets of the full wet tyre were utilised covering 46KM’s. Speaking following today’s action, Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery commented saying:
‘We had very little meaningful running today, which means that our new supersoft tyres will be run properly for the first time during Saturday morning’s session. This is clearly going to be a crucial hour when it comes to determining race set-up and strategy. While it’s hard to extrapolate much data from today, the new surface should have the effect of decreasing wear and degradation still further, on what is already the least strenuous track for tyres of the year. This should make a one-stop strategy entirely achievable, although some teams may try to gain an advantage by doing something different. Most of all, I feel sorry for the fans today who sat through a lot of rain for very little action. With such a small amount of data for the teams to fall back on though, it’s more likely that we will see an unpredictable qualifying and race over the weekend. Before then, we’re looking forward to demonstrating a new GP2 tyre concept tomorrow, which underlines our capacity to produce a variety of different tyre solutions to meet any request.’
© Ben Johnston 2015