F2 MOVES TO MONZA WITH MEDIUM AND SOFT 18-INCH TYRES
F3 TO RACE ON SOFT TYRES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2020
Milan, September 2, 2020 – The FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 championships move from one classic venue to another as they make the trip from Spa-Francorchamps to Monza: the first of two consecutive weekends racing on Italian soil, with the debut of Mugello.
For Pirelli’s home event – located close to the company’s headquarters in Milan – Formula 2 will have the same 18-inch tyre compounds nominated as in Belgium. Formula 3 meanwhile will race on the soft tyres for the first time this year at the penultimate round of the season.
• A lap of Monza is dominated by long straights, meaning that cars are set up with the lowest downforce settings of the season to maximise straight-line speed. As a result, they are more reliant on the mechanical grip provided by tyres to carry speed through the corners.
• The most significant forces on the tyres at Monza come under traction and braking in the chicanes that punctuate the long straights. The long Curva Grande and Parabolica corners create the greatest lateral forces.
• Drivers rely heavily on the kerbs to take the fastest line through the chicanes, adding to the stresses on the tyres.
The tyres and strategy
• The P Zero Yellow medium and P Zero Red soft tyres have been nominated in Formula 2 for Monza: the same combination used in Hungary and Belgium earlier this season. This is the same nomination made at Monza in 2019, but now in the new 18-inch size, rather than 13 inches, and with brand new compounds.
• In F2, each driver has five sets of slick tyres to use over the weekend: three medium and two soft. They also have three sets of wet-weather tyres. During race one, where there is a mandatory pit stop, both compounds have to be used unless it is declared a wet race. Pit stops are optional in race two.
• One slick tyre is nominated for each F3 round: At Monza, the soft tyre is nominated for the first time this season. This is the same nomination used at the circuit in 2019.
• F3 drivers get three sets of the soft tyres at the start of each weekend, plus one carry-over set from the previous round (which must be returned after free practice), which this weekend will be the medium compound from Spa. There are two sets of wet-weather tyres available as well.
What happened last year?
Nobuharu Matsushita won the F2 feature race at Monza in 2019, coming from fifth on the grid to overtake Callum Ilott for the lead before pitting at the end of lap six to switch from the softs to the mediums, and resisting mid-race pressure from Ilott to seal the victory. Luca Ghiotto charged from 13th on the grid to second using the alternative strategy of starting on the medium tyres. Jack Aitken won the F2 sprint race, while Robert Shwartzman and Yuki Tsunoda took victory in the F3 races.
Mario Isola, Pirelli head of car racing: “Monza is our home circuit and part of a unique Italian double-header with Mugello this season. It’s always a special event, partly because of the circuit characteristics that make Monza the quickest track on the calendar. This creates a compromise for the teams and drivers, who need to get the grip that they want while keeping downforce to a minimum. At the same time, they also need to preserve the tyres from the work-out they receive under traction, braking, and through the chicanes especially. Hitting the high kerbs in Monza with the 18-inch tyres will be quite different from the past with the 13-inch tyres, so the F2 drivers will probably have to slightly modify their racing lines, to avoid unbalancing the car. In F3, this is the first and only time that the drivers will compete on the soft compound tyre this season, which adds an extra variable for them to adjust to.”