Pirelli: Traction and tire wear to be factors at Canadian Grand Prix

Jan. 1, 2020
After a successful performance in Monaco, Pirelli's new P Zero Red supersoft tire will be joined by the harder P Zero Yellow tire at the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix.
After a successful performance in Monaco, Pirelli's new P Zero Red supersoft tire will be joined by the harder P Zero Yellow tire at the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix.

Like Monaco, Canada is a semi-permanent facility; however, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is faster with a low-grip surface – the two parameters that have a far-reaching effect on tire wear. There are also areas of heavy braking and maximum traction, which are additional factors regarding the tires.

Consequently, long stints of more than 50 laps on the P Zero tires, as seen in Monaco, are unlikely and instead there will be a return to wheel-to- wheel sprint racing.

Tire wear is a critical factor at the Montreal circuit. Since its inauguration in 1978, the track has undergone a number of changes, notably some resurfacing before last year’s grand prix and other additions that influence the way that the tires behave.

With the track hosting only two major races per season – Formula One and NASCAR –there is a marked evolution in terms of grip over the course of the weekend as more rubber gets laid down on the surface, according to Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsports director.

On Friday, drivers will be given two additional sets of Pirelli’s new medium compound slicks to evaluate during two practice sessions.



“Monaco was a fantastic race, with three drivers battling closely for the win even though they were using three very different strategies,” says Hembery. “From the data we can see that Sebastian Vettel’s tires would have gone the distance if he had continued to drive on them in the same way that he had been doing up to the red flag period. This means that he could have covered 62 laps, the equivalent of more than 200 kilometers, on the P Zero Yellow soft tire, with an extremely close finish,” he reports.

“The characteristics of Canada mean that we’re unlikely to see a one-stop strategy this weekend, but we’re hoping that the racing will be just as close and that the opportunities for overtaking will give teams even more possibilities than Monaco in terms of race strategy,” Hembery forecasts. “The pure performance of the P Zero tires was demonstrated by the fact that we were able to set the fastest-ever qualifying lap of Monaco, adding to our record of success, which now includes more than 50 grand prix wins throughout our time in Formula One,” he observes.

“The Montreal circuit can be hard on tires because the cars run on low downforce and the tarmac is quite low grip,” says driver Rubens Barrichello. “The track has some change of direction, is very hard on brakes and has two hairpins that make good traction very important,” he explains.

“Turn One, for example,” says Barrichello, “is a corner that you carry a lot of speed into and then you brake hard into the hairpin in first gear. The minimum speed is low but traction is hard on tires. There are a lot of hard braking areas throughout the lap. I love the circuit and racing there is always good. I look forward to racing on the Pirelli P Zero tires in Canada.”

For more information, visit www.us.pirelli.com.

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