Pirelli is returning ‘home’ for the Italian Grand Prix this weekend and taking its hard and medium tyres to ‘the temple of speed’.
Monza is known as the fastest circuit on the Formula One calendar and also just half an hour’s drive from the tyres manufacturers Milan headquarters.
The two hardest compounds have been chosen because of the tracks reputation for outright speed and to cope with the three sections that place particularly heavy demands on the tyres: the first chicane, which is characterised by heavy downhill braking, the Ascari curves – with their several rapid direction changes – and the famous Parabolica, a wide, open radius corner that puts a lot of lateral stress through the tyres.
To add to challenging corners, Monza also has some of the fastest straights of the year where the cars reach around 340 kilometres per hour, meaning that tyre temperatures can peak at up to 130 degrees centigrade.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director, said: “Monza is probably the most important race of the year for us, as it is our chance to come home and showcase our tyres and specialised technology in front of so many of our people and the passionate Italian fans.
“There is a really special atmosphere to this race that is unique to Italy. Not only that, but Monza is one of the most demanding circuits that we visit all year due to the high speed and significant lateral loads on the tyres.
“After Spa, it is the second-highest set of forces that our tyres will experience all year. Coming to Monza directly from Spa for the first time means that the teams will be fully up to speed with the hard and medium tyres, while there is a huge amount of momentum behind the championship now, which is shaping up to become the most thrilling finale since we returned to Formula One.
“Ambient temperatures can be very high in Italy, which places further demands on the tyres, so we would normally expect two pit stops.
“Strategy turned out to be a key ingredient to success last year, with the podium places only decided on the final lap, and we would expect the same again this year. With the cars at full throttle for so long, it’s hard for anybody to gain a big lead unless they use strategy to their advantage.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team