Super-soft tyres lasting far longer than expected

2011 Monaco GP FP2 analysis

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Monaco, 2011

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Monaco, 2011

Pirelli expected their super-soft tyre would be good for no more than ten laps in Monaco.

But in second practice the tyres were lasting for more than 20.

Here’s all the data from the second practice session.

Longest stint comparison

  • In second practice the super-soft tyre held up surprisingly well over long stints. Sebastian Vettel did a 23-lap stint on them and was able to lap in the high 1’18s (see graph below)
  • Jenson Button did similarly well on his run on super-softs (also below), improving his best time by half a second 16 laps into his stint
  • Will the tyres last this well in the race? It’s not a given as Monaco typically sees very high track evolution as the surface becomes cleaner and grippier. But at this stage Pirelli’s initial estimate of ten-lap stints on the super-softs looks very conservative

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Sebastian Vettel 79.03 78.808 78.585 78.888 79.437 80.066 79.033 79.285 81.538 79.256 87.776 83.543 87.365 78.598 79.66 78.833 86.857 88.708 78.817 80.31 143.048
Mark Webber 79.789 80.091 87.149 79.971 80.169 87.322 79.512 79.658 79.572 91.243 79.468 79.235 86.826 79.183 87.496 79.147 125.774
Lewis Hamilton 84.409 79.236 79.008 82.708 84.233 91.365 80.503 78.848 127.268
Jenson Button 79.577 79.522 79.295 79.567 79.796 80.882 81.59 79.256 79.246 81.249 79.385 80.169 82.688 92.712 78.614 82.281 142.439
Fernando Alonso 78.749 78.88 78.984 78.777 78.638 80.719 78.512 83.172 79.231 83.627 78.909
Felipe Massa 79.385 78.827 78.426 78.549 79.16 86.235 78.373 78.469 84.311 78.429 79.128 94.096 80.71 91.9
Michael Schumacher 79.814 79.876 79.684 89.392 87.323 85.515 79.445 79.811 92.692 83.606 120.093
Nico Rosberg 81.036 83.303 79.929 80.1 80.551 81.628 81.742
Nick Heidfeld 82.542 82.157 84.181 81.091 81.08 83.665 90.305 80.576 86.266 143.807
Vitaly Petrov 83.02 82.982 78.471 98.191 78.135 85.299 78.02 83.843 77.339 77.883
Rubens Barrichello 83.844 82.326 91.641 81.701 81.188 80.892 88.296 92.018 84.859 83.5 81.13 86.762 82.046 81.44
Pastor Maldonado 82.342 82.509 80.584 81.083 81.369 80.957 81.33 83.92 80.943 82.761 82.608 85.106 94.187 80.894 80.58 140.225
Adrian Sutil 81.246 81.424 81.294 81.257 81.128 81.571 81.459 81.957 81.292 82.908 81.013 80.939 81.063 86.521 83.982 81.489 135.434
Paul di Resta 80.484 84.938 91.454 83.13 79.735 90.962 79.053
Kamui Kobayashi 84.663 84.667 81.433 81.924 82.034 81.119 81.048 81.834 81.505 81.398 81.082
Sergio Perez 82.161 80.287 80.337 87.088 80.487 80.584 80.479 80.342 86.217 80.34 80.751 80.24 80.544 93.62 80.216 80.271 90.297 79.953 85.225 81.714 81.144 86.031 86.713 81.742 141.521
Sebastien Buemi 81.383 80.902 80.848 80.661 81.431 80.551 80.528 80.371 80.674 84.597 84.417 80.693 81.272 88.121 81.19 85.482 81.653
Jaime Alguersuari 83.265 81.921 81.514 81.091 81.263 81.596 82.076 82.187 81.584 81.463 81.603 81.463 81.729 82.179 87.65 82.453 82.55 82.71 83.239 86.196 84.562 86.473 142.74
Heikki Kovalainen 83.435 82.331 82.225 82.563 86.29 81.869 82.705 82.405 82.379 82.972 84.504 164.454 83.132 127.037
Jarno Trulli 83.594 83.076 82.273 85.124 82.41 81.781 81.93 81.871 82.2 82.702 90.785 83.263 82.547 133.128
Narain Karthikeyan 88.102 85.092 93.752 94.964 88.52 85.089 84.015 83.579
Vitantonio Liuzzi
Timo Glock 83.685 82.143 88.131 82.558 82.321 85.677 83.519 83.223 82.767 82.669 83.386 89.673 82.769 122.617
Jerome d’Ambrosio 82.702 82.072 82.668 82.612 83.011 85.759 83.658 84.062 84.37 84.097 88.555 87.524 86.903 91.177 141.821

Complete practice times

  • Narain Karthikeyan was outside the 107% time from Q1 (1’21.982) set on soft tyres. If his FP2 time was set on super-softs, it does not bode well for his chances of qualifying
  • Giedo van de Garde, Sam Bird and Jules Bianchi were all faster than Karthikeyan in the GP2 qualifying session held after second practice
  • Another unexpected property of the super-soft tyre was that some drivers were able to improve their times after their first lap. This could have an effect on qualifying, allowing drivers an extra chance to set a good lap if they get stuck in traffic
Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Stint lap At time Laps
1 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’15.123 2/5 53 42
2 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’15.228 0.105 3/4 70 33
3 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’15.321 0.198 2/2 57 44
4 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’15.448 0.325 1/3 56 38
5 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’15.667 0.544 3/3 50 46
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’15.781 0.658 3/5 51 45
7 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’16.356 1.233 5/5 66 33
8 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’16.642 1.519 3/3 56 42
9 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’17.101 1.978 3/3 62 46
10 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’17.126 2.003 4/6 62 38
11 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’17.337 2.214 4/4 67 35
12 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’17.541 2.418 1/3 46 47
13 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’17.570 2.447 3/3 36 39
14 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’17.581 2.458 1/2 30 32
15 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’17.633 2.510 1/3 24 49
16 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’17.706 2.583 1/3 36 37
17 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’17.789 2.666 1/3 46 43
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’18.266 3.143 7/7 62 50
19 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’18.490 3.367 2/5 59 39
20 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’19.053 3.930 7/7 15 15
21 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’19.185 4.062 2/4 59 40
22 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’19.338 4.215 2/3 24 35
23 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’22.066 6.943 4/7 50 33

Ultimate lap times

  • Taking all their sector times into account the gap between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton is even smaller. But remember Hamilton set his best time later in the session, benefiting from the track evolution
Car Driver Car Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best
1 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’15.121 0.002
2 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’15.193 0.072 0.035
3 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’15.321 0.200 0.000
4 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’15.355 0.234 0.093
5 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’15.667 0.546 0.000
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’15.742 0.621 0.039
7 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’16.191 1.070 0.165
8 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’16.528 1.407 0.114
9 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’17.101 1.980 0.000
10 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’17.126 2.005 0.000
11 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’17.208 2.087 0.129
12 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’17.352 2.231 0.281
13 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’17.410 2.289 0.131
14 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’17.570 2.449 0.000
15 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’17.581 2.460 0.000
16 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’17.663 2.542 0.043
17 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’17.707 2.586 0.082
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’18.021 2.900 0.245
19 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’18.297 3.176 0.193
20 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’19.038 3.917 0.015
21 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’19.125 4.004 0.060
22 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’19.209 4.088 0.129
23 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’21.989 6.868 0.077

Speed trap

# Driver Car Engine Max speed Gap
1 14 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 283.4
2 15 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes 283.3 0.1
3 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault Renault 281.7 1.7
4 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault Renault 280.3 3.1
5 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes Mercedes 280.2 3.2
6 4 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 279.2 4.2
7 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 279 4.4
8 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari 278.9 4.5
9 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams Cosworth 278.9 4.5
10 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 278.4 5
11 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari 277.7 5.7
12 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari 277.5 5.9
13 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari 277.3 6.1
14 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari 277.1 6.3
15 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams Cosworth 277.1 6.3
16 17 Sergio Perez Sauber Ferrari 276.7 6.7
17 24 Timo Glock Virgin Cosworth 276.7 6.7
18 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus Renault 275.9 7.5
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus Renault 275.7 7.7
20 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 275.7 7.7
21 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin Cosworth 274.7 8.7
22 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT Cosworth 274.3 9.1
23 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 274.3 9.1

2011 Monaco Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 Monaco Grand Prix articles

Image ?? Force India F1 Team

Advert | Go Ad-free

55 comments on Super-soft tyres lasting far longer than expected

  1. Dan8 (@dan8) said on 26th May 2011, 16:27

    I am surprised to see that the super-softs are lasting for so much more longer than expected by Pirelli. We will have to wait and see if we have a repeat of the previous races with the tyre life decreasing over the race weekend. Also good to see the McLaren’s and the Ferrari of Alonso are quicker than Vettel over ultimate lap time.

    • Robbie said on 26th May 2011, 16:40

      Should prove interesting…wonder if SV or JB had a full tank of fuel onboard when they did their long runs…SV lapping in the high 1 min 18′s is nearly 4 seconds off FA’s best time, so he must have had a fair amount of fuel in his car…and why wouldn’t they want to practice that way…makes sense in determining the tires’ durability.

    • sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 26th May 2011, 18:43

      I’m not surprised really. The bridgestone tyres last year could last the whole race (the soft compound) pretty much – tyre degradation around monaco has always been very low! I’m more surprised that Pirelli only expected 10 laps out of the tyres here

  2. Malibu_GP said on 26th May 2011, 16:38

    I think those conservative estimates bode well for Pirelli, as far as the fans and public perception are concerned. It’s always preferable to under-promise and over-deliver. Regardless, the various strategies will be exciting to watch unfold… I love these back to back weekends. Lessens the withdrawal. I swear I gotta get back to work…

    • F1iLike said on 26th May 2011, 20:11

      Or you could look at it in another way. How bad they are at estimating and have poor knowledge…

  3. Lagavulin said on 26th May 2011, 16:43

    tyres that last, a real qualifyng, race with few pit stops…
    it’s like going back in years. God bless Montecarlo.

    • kateafan said on 26th May 2011, 16:52

      Indeed, all the way back to the golden age of 2010!

    • Icthyes said on 26th May 2011, 17:13

      Don’t celebrate too early, three-stops at least will probably be the norm.

      • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 26th May 2011, 17:16

        What’s wrong with lots of pit-stops? I’m going to enjoy this race because of the DRS having no effect, not because of fewer pit-stops…

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th May 2011, 20:58

          Looking forward to exactly that as well. And qualifying promises to be a tight battle, that is, if Vettel does not magically improve and get it with a few tenths in the pocket.

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 26th May 2011, 21:04

            I won’t be surprised if that does happen, but I’ll be much more excited if it’s close at the front. I’d love to see Alonso and Rosberg on the front row!

        • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 26th May 2011, 22:03

          Nothing! Especially somewhere like Monaco, you want something to break it up.

        • F1_Dave said on 26th May 2011, 22:22

          they take the racing off the track & into the pit lane.
          pit stops have ruined far more races than they helped.

          all the very best years in terms of on-track racing happened at the times when we didnt see many, if any pit stops.

          also all the years which featured a lot of overtaking in the past happened with less, most the time no pit stops.

          overtaking stats only started to drop massively when we started to see pit stops become more frequent. figures droppsed by over 100 from 93 to 94 when the introduction of refueling introduced more pit stops and pit strategy into f1.

  4. phildick (@phildick) said on 26th May 2011, 16:48

    Looking forward to an interesting qualifying, at least there’s hope that there may be quite a few pole contenders. May the fastest one win :)

  5. Alfie said on 26th May 2011, 17:04

    Keith, it’s van de Garde, not can :P

  6. charliewatts55 (@charliewatts55) said on 26th May 2011, 17:07

    Karthikeyan would’ve been 4th in gp2 qualifying! I find that incredible, even with track evolution. Unless there were problems we don’t know about. When was the last time an f1 car was slower than a gp2 car in the same weekend?

    • Alfie said on 26th May 2011, 17:11

      I think in Bahrain ’10 the HRT’s were slower.

      • Alfie said on 26th May 2011, 17:13

        Hey, what a great idea! If in the practices an F1 car is slower than some GP2 guys, they should have the choice of F1 or GP2.

    • Icthyes said on 26th May 2011, 17:14

      The new GP2 cars were made by the same company, Dallara, that made HRT’s car last year.

    • Oliver said on 26th May 2011, 17:23

      Many factors responsible for that.
      The regulations actually give F1 cars less downforce than the GP2 cars. Only teams with experienced design staff, can use different tricks to get back lost downforce.
      Power is also useless in Monaco. A car with good Torque will be able keep up with a more powerful car.

      • Snow Donkey said on 26th May 2011, 18:02

        So not only is HRT horrendously slow, but is this to say that some gp2 drivers would qualify under the 107% rule? Obviously no quali times yet, and the times will tumble by a fair margin, but maybe f1 is too restricted these days? IMHO there should be a fair margin to the next category when you claim to be the pinnacle of motorsport. This is also not the first rumblings we’ve heard of f1 becoming slow, the hard pirelli has had drivers complaining of this as well…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th May 2011, 21:01

      Last time in Monaco HRT were slower than the pole time as well.

  7. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 26th May 2011, 17:13

    Another unexpected property of the super-soft tyre was that some drivers were able to improve their times after their first lap.

    Interesting. This, I was not expecting. Qualifying mightn’t be as exciting as I’d hoped!

  8. marcusbreese (@marcusbreese) said on 26th May 2011, 17:48

    Check out Perez managing 24 laps, and posting a quick lap before his pitstop. I think Sauber must be looking at a one stop strategy here. If they can qualify around P12 or better, and keep one set of super-softs fresh then they must be looking at some decent points.

  9. Zindon (@zindon) said on 26th May 2011, 17:54

    Is there a rule that says the softer tyre can’t be used in FP1? Or is just the convention because the track will still be quite green during FP1?

    • Bleu said on 27th May 2011, 6:28

      The teams have two harder and one softer set of tyres for FP1 and FP2. They have to return a set of hard after FP1 and set of both after FP2. So there isn’t any rule but with the rule it’s understandable that they don’t do so.

  10. VXR said on 26th May 2011, 17:55

    *sarcasm mode on* I hope that KERS, DRS and the tyres have no effect at all on the racing. So that we can watch cars with good race pace get stuck behind slower cars, with no chance of getting passed. Ah! The good old days! *sarcasm mode off*

  11. PieLighter said on 26th May 2011, 18:18

    ROFLOL, Karthikeyan is slower than GP2 drivers!

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 26th May 2011, 18:53

      I was in splits as well. Its not like HRT are that bad, and I’m sure Liuzzi will find the pace to qualify within the 107% rule. But Karthikeyan on the other hand, has just shown that he isn’t even worthy enough to participate in GP2, F1 is just way out of his talent league.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th May 2011, 21:08

        Yeah, when you think about it, the GP2 cars were in qualifying. Narain probably did mostly longer runs, looking at his amount of laps. And Liuzzi did his time with a session cut short and without any running in the afternoon.

  12. S.J.M (@sjm) said on 26th May 2011, 18:46

    I like the Red markings for the tyres, makes some cars (Mclarens, Ferraris, Virgin) look really cool and goes with the liveries better then that horrid pale-green we’ve had before this year.

    And on the performance of the tyres, well they work well in Free pratice, but noones pushing at 10tenths yet, which will have them degrading a little quicker but it certainly enables the teams to think seriously about different strategies rather then just 1/2 drivers who can look after the tyes.

  13. Tango said on 26th May 2011, 19:28

    I am at Monaco (great btw) and it has been scorching hot with no wind. They think temperature will lower from tomorrow so I wouldn’t be surprised if tyre wear would grow. It seemed to me the ferraris were pushing very hard, twitching and all. The others felt more composed. As for GP2 i’m surprised the top three went that fast with all the accidents. It was very enjoyable though and I’ll be happy to wake up tomorrow to see their race.

  14. Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 26th May 2011, 19:48

    I am not at all surprised at the news to be perfectly honest. Every race either the teams or Pirelli have been wrong, always underestimating how long the tyres would last.

    • HounslowBusGarage (@hounslowbusgarage) said on 26th May 2011, 20:32

      I think I’m quite relieved actually. Reading earlier in the week the prediction of just ten laps on the Super-Softs just filled me with disgust. I could not believe how irresponsible Pirelli were being in producing a tyre that self-destructed so quickly.
      But their estimate must have been based on a driver going tail out and right foot planted to the floor if cars are now doing 20 plus laps on the same tyres.
      So now we must have a strategy re-think. If the Super-Softs are worth 1.25 seconds a lap and they last 20 laps and a driver has two new and one old set available in the race, and if the moon is in the seventh house, and taking pi as three and a seventh, and if the chicken bones fall just right . . .

  15. Fixy (@fixy) said on 26th May 2011, 20:09

    Another unexpected property of the super-soft tyre was that some drivers were able to improve their times after their first lap. This could have an effect on qualifying, allowing drivers an extra chance to set a good lap if they get stuck in traffic

    Good. This is what I want, or else we’ll be going back to that method we had some years ago where drivers had one only chance and if they made a mistake they started last.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th May 2011, 21:10

      like the helmet avatar Fixy. And I agree on the qualifying. Nothing bad about a group of drivers trading fastest times for several laps.

    • DVC said on 27th May 2011, 7:06

      I think we will see some drivers using the same set of Super-Softs for Q1 and Q2 or for two runs in either session.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.