New wet weather F1 tyres introduced for Monaco
By Mat Coch
Sunday 28th May, 2023 - 11:04am
Pirelli has this weekend introduced new wet weather F1 tyres that no longer require the use of tyre blankets.
They had been slated to be used at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, though with that event cancelled it has been pushed back to the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.
Testing has been going on for some time on the new rubber, with Pierre Gasly in action at Paul Ricard following the Miami Grand Prix.
Despite the tyres being bolted into the cars effectively cold, the Frenchman believes they’re much the same to the previous wet rubber used in F1.
“I did try the latest tyres we’re going to have in [Paul] Ricard 10n days ago,” Gasly said when asked by Speedcafe.
“I wouldn’t say there is any concern. There’s always work to try to develop the product that we’ve got.
“There are certain areas of the tyres we would like to improve.
“I don’t think it’s massively different to what it was last year, so I just expect very similar behaviour to what we had to face and deal with last season.”
Not all drivers have tried the new rubber.
Alfa Romeo Sauber’s Zhou Guanyu has, though Robert Kubica has and shared his thoughts with the Chinese racer.
“It seems to be some positive feedback coming,” Zhou said.
“The old wet tyre with the blanket, they might be in a good temperature but then the surface takes at least three, four laps to be able to rub them down, to bed them in.
“I have tried it [the new tyre] but the information I got is a step forward – he [Kubica] was already able to, even with the lower temperature, reach the peak earlier.”
Championship leader Max Verstappen has heard similar feedback, despite also having never driven on the new wet rubber.
“I heard that they are better,” said the two-time world champion.
“Apparently they work without the blankets, so I guess time will tell once it finally starts raining how they will perform.”
Forecasts earlier in the week predicted rain on Thursday for the media day, Saturday, and Sunday.
That has eased, and while there was some rain on Thursday, Friday and Saturday proved bright and sunny.
Rain is still forecast for Sunday, however, with a nearly 80 percent chance in the hours prior to the 15:00 race start time.
“I don’t mind driving in the wet, I mean last year also the start of the race was in the wet,” Verstappen said.
“But it’s already chaotic enough, this weekend, so just having a normal weekend in the dry would be nice.”
Opening practice starts in Monaco today at 13:30 local time (21:30 AEST).