The Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft tyres have been nominated for Canadian Grand Prix this weekend.
The brakes and kerbs work the tyres hard at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, a semi-permanent facility which combines the speed and bespoke sections of a permanent circuit, with the grip of normal roads.
The racing is influenced by frequently changeable weather conditions and a low-grip surface that often catches out even the most experienced drivers – many of whom have had contact with the famous ‘wall of champions’ in the past. Other important factors affecting the tyres in Montreal include braking, with heat from the brakes warming up the tyres (although this year, the behaviour of the brakes is different, with the new brake by wire system). There are also some notable kerbs in Montreal, which force the tyre to absorb impacts as part of the car’s suspension.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli tyres, explained: “We’re expecting the tyres to be worked a lot harder in Canada than they were in Monaco, with a lot more energy and greater forces going through them due to much higher speeds. This should lead to the maximum possible mechanical grip, which is certainly what’s needed in Montreal.
“There’s a high degree of track evolution and we frequently see a lot of sliding – especially with reduced downforce this year – which obviously puts an increased amount of stress on the tyre. But we are still expecting to have contained wear and degradation this weekend, even on the two softest tyres in the range.
“Canada always tends to be an unpredictable race where strategy can make a real difference, also because of the high probability of safety cars. As we saw in Monaco, taking the right strategy opportunities when they present themselves under unusual circumstances is a key element to success at any circuit that falls outside the usual mould, with Canada being a prime example.
“Historically, there’s a reasonable chance of rain, in which case judging the crossover points – sometimes without previous data, if each previous session has been dry – becomes crucial.”