Hypersofts will make Monaco qualifying "madness" - Sainz

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Renault F1 driver Carlos Sainz expects qualifying in Monaco to be "absolute madness" thanks to the extra pace provided by Pirelli's new hypersoft tyres.

All teams have heavily weighted their Monaco compound choices towards the hypersoft, with Red Bull, Williams and Renault even choosing as many as 11 sets from their total of 13, with just one example each of the supersoft and ultrasoft.

Although not designed for Barcelona, the pink-sidewalled tyres were sampled by several drivers during testing after the Spanish GP.

"It is quite impressive, that tyre, I must say," said Sainz. "It gives easily a second per lap, and we're at Barcelona where the last sector normally you arrive with the tyre quite on the limit.

"This tyre around Monaco could be something special. We will see very quick laptimes if that is the case. I would be prepared to see lap records in Monaco again."

Asked how impressive qualifying could be this year, he said: "Absolutely madness. It will be crazy.

"Already last year with the new cars it was something incredible, and this year, two steps softer compound and the tyre that for me is the best tyre Pirelli has done in a lot of years, it's going to be crazy."

Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley is also expecting fast laptimes.

"I think in Monaco you have a lot less degradation anyway than a track like Barcelona," said the Kiwi. "I think it will be entertaining to have so much grip around one lap in Monaco.

"I don't suspect the drop-off will be as big as other tracks.

"It's very low on tyre degradation. I think all the drivers are happy that we have it, because qualifying will be very fun."

Pirelli boss Mario Isola expects the hypersoft to make more of an impact on its second outing in Canada, which is more of a traditional track.

"While the soft, super and ultra are quite close, the hyper is a step," he said. "The point is that Monaco is also a unique circuit, so I'm not sure if we can see the real potential of the hypersoft in Monaco – we'll probably see something more in Montreal about the hypersoft. Monaco is very, very low severity."

He also suggested that teams will run the majority of the race in the principality on the new tyre, changing as late as possible.

"The hypersoft is not [just] a qualifying tyre in Monaco, it's also a tyre for the race, and I'm sure that comparing the numbers and what we saw in Abu Dhabi, you can run a decent stint in Monaco with the hypersoft.

"In Monaco it's always the same, the softest choice is the one that everyone will want to take as long as possible."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Carlos Sainz Jr.
Teams Renault F1 Team
Article type Breaking news