The Monaco GP From a Tire Point of View

MONACO – May 25th 2011 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Pirelli brings another splash of color to Monte Carlo’s famous harbor this weekend with the debut of the new supersoft tires, known as the P Zero Red. These tires are designed to be ideally suited to the tight and twisty streets of the Principality, with the drivers having their first chance to try out the new rubber tomorrow.


The legendary Monaco circuit is 3340 meters long, with the 78-lap grand prix witnessing the debut of Pirelli’s new P Zero Red supersoft tire to guarantee maximum grip over the slippery asphalt, which is open to normal road traffic in the evenings. This is just one of the factors that make the grip level so hard to predict.

Sainte Devote: The cars stand on the brakes for the first corner of the lap, losing 160kph in 100 meters. The continuous heavy use of the brakes in Monaco generates extremely high temperatures which are also felt in the tires, increasing the stress caused by heat on the tire as a whole.

There is a big compression as the cars exit Casino Square that can destabilize the car under braking.

The Loew’s hairpin, as it is still known, is the slowest corner of the season, taken at just 47kph. Due to the low speed there is no aerodynamic downforce, so the full steering lock means that the front-right tire is doing all the work when it comes to the change of direction.

Tabac, following the famous tunnel, is one of the hardest parts of the circuit with a tight line and no escape road. The cars reach around 160kph here, developing a lateral load of 3.31G.

It’s another tight entry to the first corner at the Swimming Pool complex. The cars hit the kerbs at more than 200kph, generating a lateral force of 3.65G.

The last part of the lap is vital for a clean run; where the drivers have to thread their cars carefully between guardrails apply the brakes while cornering at the same time. It’s back on the gas at Anthony Noghes and then up through second and third gears to unleash the full power of the engine on the start-finish straight for another lap…


The Monaco Grand Prix adopts a different format to everywhere else, with free practice taking place on Thursday and no running on Friday.

With the on-track action taking place one day earlier; this only increases the pressure on all the teams to set up their hospitality facilities in time, less than three days after leaving Barcelona, 400 kilometers to the south of Monaco.

Pirelli is no exception, with the team’s new carbon black motorhome taking shape at the end of the harbor. The motorhome made its debut at the Turkish Grand Prix in early May, having been built from new in Germany since the start of the year.

The Pirelli motorhome is based on two expanding trailer units, with a hospitality area in between. The left hand trailer unit contains the engineers’ offices on the upper deck, plus an office for Mario Isola, Pirelli’s Racing Manager. Downstairs there is storage and a fully-equipped kitchen, where Pirelli’s catering service can produce up to 150 meals daily, with a menu that ranges from lobster to pasta.

The right hand trailer unit contains the office of Paul Hembery – Pirelli’s motorsport director – on the upper deck, plus a meeting room as well as the PR and marketing office. Below there is security and IT, as well as more storage.

The catering area can seat about 50 people at a time; with the table place mats based on old Pirelli posters from the 1950 and 1960s that advertise the company’s most famous products from the past such as the ‘Stelvio’ tire. On the walls there are photos from the Pirelli calendar over the years, and even the lampshades are based on tires.

It takes a team of four people less than 24 hours to put up the new motorhome, which goes constantly from race to race during the European season but is based at Pirelli’s Formula One facility in the United Kingdom on the rare occasions it is not travelling.

About the only thing that the new Pirelli motorhome does not yet have is a name – so please forward any suggestions to the Pirelli F1 media team.

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Pirelli Tire North America designs, develops, manufactures and markets tires for passenger vehicles in both the original equipment and replacement markets as well as markets and distributes tires for motorcycles and motorsports. Located in Rome, Georgia, Pirelli’s Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) employs state-of-the-art technology to manufacture tires for both export and domestic markets.  For more information please visit

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Rafael Navarro, Director, Marketing and Media Relations