Why Monaco is a big tyre gamble

Why Monaco is a big tyre gamble

Tyres have been the key element in Formula 1 this year, but with Pirelli's super soft rubber lasting much better than expected in practice, the Monaco Grand Prix may just go to the form book after all, as Mark Hughes explains

"Well, Pirelli tell us the softs are going to be able to do 28 laps this weekend and 23 for the super softs," said Lewis Hamilton at Monaco on Thursday, in such a way that invited a further question. Did he believe that? "No," he laughed. "Not for one moment. Why would you believe engineers!"

After all, an engineer might suggest that a Red Bull is not beatable – and that's not information Lewis is up for hearing. And nor is Fernando Alonso. These two indefatigable competitors very much sense that the unusual demands of Monte Carlo just might be able to level the playing field for them – and the early indications from practice suggest they could be right. The pointers also suggest that the Pirelli engineers might be right about the durability of their tyres – and if that is the case, might we be in for a relatively conventional Monaco Grand Prix, far removed from the crazy, tyre-wear dominated races of late?

To continue reading this feature...

You must have an AUTOSPORT+ subscription. Prices start from just $1.50 per week and give you full unrestriced access to all news and features. View package options? Magazine subscriber?


from just $1.50 per week

  • Get unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Explore every F1 stat in the world’s best motorsport database

Pay as you go

Read this feature right now for just