Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery says two-stop strategies should be feasible in the Monaco Grand Prix, despite the use of the super-soft rubber.
The Italian manufacturer is bringing the super-soft tires to the Monte Carlo race, where the rubber will make its racing debut this year. Despite the high level of degradation seen in this year's tires, however, Hembery is hoping to see drivers stopping just twice during the race, playing down fears of a record number of pit stops this weekend.
"Monaco is one of those circuits where, if you have slip and wheel spin you are in difficulty," Hembery told AUTOSPORT. "That is often what you get in slow speed corners and you accelerate and get slip so you get a lot of grip from the tire which is why we went super soft and soft, and pretty similar as to why we have gone that way for Canada.
"If you go with a tire that is too hard and it is not giving you an advantage from the compound you do get wheel spin and you get excessive consumption of the tire and that probably for the public is hard to understand as the hard is going to resist more, no matter what you do to it. But it is more complex, it is also related to how much wheel spin you get.
"We would like to see a two-stop strategy and based on Melbourne that should certainly be feasible on a low-speed circuit, although Melbourne doesn't have the really tight corners that it has at Monaco, so it will all be related to how much wheel spin we get and we will only see that when we get there."
Hembery also emphasized that drivers will need to nail their qualifying laps if they are going to extract the best from the tires, as he admits its peak performance will last only one lap.
"The peak of performance is definitely one lap. It will have that characteristic of a qualifying tire so you will want to put in your best lap straight away and it will be a fast-wearing tire. That is part of the plan, but I have to wait and see what it does in Monaco, as I don't want to make a prediction because we have never been there with it. It is not going to be a 15-20 lap tire for sure."
Hembery said he is not expecting drivers to save tires by sacrificing their qualifying this time out.
"I think that won't happen because they will be qualifying on the tire they have less sets on, so that changes around," he said. "The faster tire has been the soft one so they want to preserve as many as possible as they have one set left.
"Now with the advent of the new hard tire that we see here, the new PZero, initial indications are it degrades less and it gives more laps than soft tire so it takes away that disadvantage where hard didn't give big difference in terms of wear. So you can consider one pit stop left."