2023 Italian Grand Prix: Qualifying Tyre Analysis – After a very orange celebration in Zandvoort a week ago when Max Verstappen took pole, today was a red letter day for Ferrari, as Carlos Sainz delighted the Monza crowd by securing the number one slot on the grid. It was a very close three-way fight between him and his team-mate Charles Leclerc, who finished third and reigning world champion Max Verstappen in second place, the trio separated by just 67 thousandths of a second.
Qualifying ran to the ATA (Alternative Tyre Allocation) format, with drivers having to use the Hard compound in Q1, the Medium in Q2 and the Soft in Q3. Combined with the fact that the weather was practically unchanged throughout the 60 minute session, it meant that conditions were pretty much perfect to evaluate the performance difference between the three compounds: half a second between the C3 and C4 and four tenths between the C4 and C5, which is very much in line with our prior simulations.
116 sets of tyres were used during qualifying, while only the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers were able to get through the three phases using just five sets, as all four of them used just one set of Hard tyres in Q1.
The ATA continued to have an effect on the teams’ work programmes in the final free practice session, as all three compounds were used, running different fuel loads, simulating both qualifying laps and long runs.
Presenting Carlos Sainz with the Pirelli Pole Position Award was Fabio Rovazzi, whose latest single, “La discoteca italiana,” recorded with Orietta Berti, has been one of the hits of this summer in Italy. Having made his name as a youtuber, Rovazzi has moved on to music, acting and presenting on television.
Mario Isola – Pirelli Motorsport Director
“The Grand Prix at Monza is always special, because of the great atmosphere at what is rightly known as the Temple of Speed and also because of the show it puts on for the public, who today were treated to a thrilling fight for pole between the two Ferrari drivers and the amazing champion, Max Verstappen. It was really exciting as the three of them improved their times in Q3 one after the other.
On the tyre front, these two days have seen us trial the ATA format once again, this time in stable weather. The teams and drivers have shown that they have adapted quickly to the different challenges this has created in terms of tyre usage, without affecting the on track activity. Now we will carry out a detailed analysis of the whole weekend to see if this format could be adopted on a regular basis in the future, maybe with a few adjustments, or if we will stick with the standard tyre allocation.
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s race and possible strategies, we can confirm that a single stop is the quickest option, with the Hard compound being the main protagonist. It remains to be seen if some will decide to start on the Medium to have more flexibility, with a good level of grip at the start, or risk starting on the Soft to try and make up places in the early stages. The two-stop strategy is conditioned by the fact the pit lane is very long and therefore time is lost at each pit stop, but it could be a valid choice if the race is neutralised at any point.”