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2016 Italian Grand Prix – Practice Sessions

2016 Italian Grand Prix – Practice Sessions

LEWIS HAMILTON GOES FASTEST IN FP2 ON SUPERSOFT: LAST YEAR’S POLE TIME ALREADY BEATEN IN FP1 USING SOFT TYRE

VERY HOT TRACK TEMPERATURES IN EXCESS OF 45 DEGREES CENTIGRADE AT THE ‘TEMPLE OF SPEED’

PROTOTYPE SOFT COMPOUND TYRES, AGAIN USED DURING FRIDAY’S FREE PRACTICE SESSIONS

Monza, September 2, 2016 – Extreme heat – with track temperatures even hotter than those seen in Belgium last weekend – very high speeds, and a relatively small performance gap between the supersoft and soft were the key hallmarks of free practice at Monza today.

Track temperatures peaked at 46 degrees centigrade during the afternoon, with over 30 degrees ambient, and this clearly had an effect on tyre wear and degradation: especially with the supersoft.

The supersoft compound set the fastest time of the day with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, but the performance advantage that it has compared to the soft tyre is reasonably small: about 0.6 seconds so far. There’s a clearer gap between the soft and the medium of about 1 second, with all three compounds run today.

This suggests that the soft tyre will be a strong race tyre, although the teams had a good opportunity to assess the supersoft during long runs as well. As usual, the work for teams in FP2 was split between qualifying and race simulations, in order for teams to get an overall picture of wear and degradation with different fuel loads.

Monza contains the highest top speeds of the year, with the drivers coming close to 360kph at the speed trap at the end of the pit straight. With more grip as the weekend evolves, these impressive speeds are likely only to get even higher.

As was the case at the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend, each driver had two sets of prototype soft compound tyres for the Friday free practice sessions only, which did not have any colour markings. A useful amount of data has been collected on these, which will be used to assess whether or not to introduce them as race tyres in future.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “We thought that Belgium was hot, but the track temperatures we saw today were even hotter: peaking at 46 degrees centigrade. This will have an effect on tyres, but we have to see what conditions will be like for the remainder of the weekend. Traditionally, a one-stopper has been the winning strategy, but this year we’re introducing the supersoft to Monza for the first time. How that tyre – which is about half a second faster than the soft so far – could perform in the race as part of the overall strategy was a big focus of the work in free practice today.”

FP1 – TIMES     FP2 – TIMES    
1. Rosberg 1m22.959s Soft New 1. Hamilton 1m22.801s Supersoft new
2. Hamilton 1m23.162s Soft New 2. Rosberg 1m22.994s Supersoft new
3. Raikkonen 1m24.047s Soft New 3. Vettel 1m23.254s Supersoft new

FP1 – BEST TIME PER COMPOUND

Medium Ricciardo 1m28.007s
Soft Rosberg 1m22.959s
Supersoft Hamilton 1m23.643s
Prototype Hamilton 1m24.123s

FP2 – BEST TIME PER COMPOUND

Medium Rosberg 1m24.569s
Soft Hamilton 1m23.732s
Supersoft Hamilton 1m22.801s
Prototype Bottas 1m25.007s

LONGEST STINTS OF THE DAY

Soft Vettel 27 laps
Medium Rosberg 23
Supersoft Gutierrez 22
Supersoft Raikkonen 22
Prototype Massa 11

Tyre statistics of the day:

  Medium Soft Supersoft Prototype (Soft)
kms driven * 1001 2895 2148 1256
sets used overall ** 17 41 29 39
highest number of laps ** 23 27 22 11

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined. ** Per compound, all drivers combined.

Minimum prescribed tyre pressures:  23,5 psi (front) and 21,5 psi (rear)

Spotted in the paddock: Bernie Ecclestone. Formula 1’s ringmaster was spotted in the paddock and pitlane, finalising a deal that will keep Monza as part of the world championship for the next three years – just like Pirelli.

For more information: please visit our all-new website, which is regularly updated with exclusive in-depth features, news and reviews. To find out more, please visit: http://racing.pirelli.com/global/en-ww/monza-2016-practice

Distribution channels: Automotive Industry