The Monaco GP from a tire point of view

May 25, 2011

The legendary Monaco circuit is 3340 meters long, and is open to normal road traffic in the evenings. This is just one of the factors that make the grip level so hard to predict.

Sainte Devote: The cars stand on the brakes for the first corner of the lap, losing 160kph in 100 meters. The continuous heavy use of the brakes in Monaco generates extremely high temperatures which are also felt in the tires, increasing the stress caused by heat on the tire as a whole.

There is a big compression as the cars exit Casino Square that can destabilize the car under braking.

The Loew’s hairpin, as it is still known, is the slowest corner of the season, taken at just 47kph. Due to the low speed there is no aerodynamic downforce, so the full steering lock means that the front-right tire is doing all the work when it comes to the change of direction.

Tabac, following the famous tunnel, is one of the hardest parts of the circuit with a tight line and no escape road. The cars reach around 160kph here, developing a lateral load of 3.31G.

It’s another tight entry to the first corner at the Swimming Pool complex. The cars hit the kerbs at more than 200kph, generating a lateral force of 3.65G.

The last part of the lap is vital for a clean run; where the drivers have to thread their cars carefully between guardrails apply the brakes while cornering at the same time. It’s back on the gas at the Anthony Noghes corner and then up through second and third gears to unleash the full power of the engine on the start-finish straight for another lap…