Tyre Me Out

It is Monza weekend. One of the most historic tracks in Formula 1 is also one of the fast tracks. Despite that fact, the race rewards cars with low aerodynamic profiles resulting in low downforce. So while you may have thought high speeds equal high tyre degradation, that is not the case. Most teams will be focused feeling the need… the need for speed.

But as we all know, the FIA has tyre requirements to keep things interesting. This weekend drivers will be required to complete the final stage of qualifying on the super-soft compound, as well as save at least one set of either mediums or softs to use in the race. So in all likelihood, teams will start Sunday’s race on the a set of the red supersofts and finish the race on a set of the yellow softs. Pirelli brought the exact same tyre compounds to the 2016 Italian Grand Prix and we saw a mixture of one- and two-stop strategies by the teams. With the 2017 compounds more durable, it is safe to assume most teams are targeting the single-stop strategy. 

The team tyre selections seem to support this theory. All but three teams have chosen 10 sets of the quickest, supersoft rubber, with Mercedes, Force India and Haas opting for nine. And every driver has gone for just one set of the most durable medium tyre, so don’t expect to see much of the white walls. Obviously anything can happen come Sunday, but it’s going to take rain, safety car or some other unique circumstances for a team and driver to switch to the two-stopper. Then again, that’s why we all watch.

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