Wets to slicks- when to change was key to racing Formula One Monaco Grand Prix

Wets to slicks- when to change was key to racing Formula One Monaco Grand Prix

Wets to slicks- when to change Pirelli P Zero tyres was key to racing Formula One Monaco Grand Prix at the weekend. Contrary to data collected in Free Practice 1, 2 and 3 along with Qualifying on Saturday, racing on Sunday delivered the ultimate mix of circumstances with the heavens unleashing rain just prior to start of the race.

Formula One Monaco Grand Prix Saturday FP3 and Qualifying Image: Pirelli

With all drivers starting on Wets, the daunting challenge of when turn-over to slicks would occur plagued Team/driver radio communications. Red Bull Racing made superb judgement call switching eventual winner Sergio Perez to Intermediates on Lap 16 followed by identical change for Max Verstappen on Lap 18.

Given Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) held commanding lead of race up to Lap 21, track position of Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, Perez and Verstappen resulted in game over for Ferrari when Red Bull pulled off overcut pit stop, double stacking both Perez and Verstappen on C3 Hard tyres on Lap 22.

From there on in, race order of Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc provided spectacle performance on track with Perez management of C4 Medium tyres keeping Carlos Sainz’s long run on C3 Hard tyres at bay to the chequered flag.

Most certainly, foregone conclusions on how results would play out on Monaco’s infamously tight circuit defied the odds that taking pole on Saturday would equate to race victory on Sunday. And, more to the point, where overtaking remains off the radar at Formula One’s iconic venue, pit-stops, tyre strategy and down-right clever pivots on how to make change-over affect track position placed the 69th running of F1 Monaco GP as historical as ever.

Formula One Monaco Grand Prix Sunday Race pit-stops Image: Pirelli

Such a complex combination of factors which influenced the outcome of results provides insight on how Teams and drivers have reacted to maximize grip at low speeds along with management of wet and dry conditions on Monaco’s street circuit.

Variance in pit-stop strategies from one-stop for Sainz, to 3 stopper for Perez, Vertsappen and Leclerc offered fans watching mix of anticipation on what will work to attain higher track position. And equally, Team/driver decisions on the fly call out all predictions on who will be favourite pick to win the race in all new era of Formula One racing.

Header Photo: Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing pit-stop. Image: Pirelli

Words: Sharon Cox.

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