Hardest tires for Pirelli at 'temple of speed'
ERJ staff report (TP)
Milan, Italy – Pirelli will bring its hardest two tires for this week’s Formula One Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
The grand prix runs from 4-7 September, and Pirelli views Monza as its home race – located just half an hour’s drive from the company’s global headquarters in Milan.
The track has significant lateral energy demands, thanks to its famous fast corners such as Parabolica, and also big longitudinal demands in terms of traction and braking, because of the long straights followed by slow chicanes.
For this reason, Pirelli is bringing the two hardest tires in its range: P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director, said: “Our home race also happens to be one of the most demanding races of the year for the tires, due to the rapid layout of the circuit: the reason why Monza is known as ‘the temple of speed’.
“The faster a circuit is, generally the more stressful it is for the tires because of the heat build-up that all these forces entail. The cars run a very low downforce set-up for Monza to maximise their top speed on the straights. This has a distinct effect on the tires, as less downforce means that the cars tend to slide more and run a greater risk of wheels locking up in the braking areas, which are a key element of Monza.
“These lock-ups can lead to flat spots, although the design of our tire structure and compounds this year means that flat spots are a much less common occurrence than they used to be.”
The winning strategy last year was a one-stopper, with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel starting on the medium and then switching to the hard on lap 23.
Photo: Starting grid of Italian Grand Prix 2013.