Hypersofts have been confirmed to run at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix, one event prior to the announcement that Formula 1’s softest rubber would be in use at the Canadian Grand Prix.
It was widely assumed the pink-walled Hypersofts – brand new for 2018 – would debut for the crown jewel event as the Monte Carlo Grand Prix circuit is renowned for the use of the softest compound tyres available.
This means drivers will officially get to the opportunity to drive with the grippiest Pirelli rubber for the first time this championship season after using the tyre throughout preseason testing in the cold conditions of Barcelona in late February and early March this year (pictured above).
The pink-walled rubber was introduced with all other compounds becoming a step softer in 2018 in order to push teams into running two-stop races strategy races again to spice up the action. The tyre was secretly tested by Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi last year who described it as the best compound Pirelli has created since their return to the sport.
Meanwhile, the return of the French Grand Prix will feature Pirelli’s Soft, Supersoft and Ultrasoft tyres at the 5.8-kilometre Circuit Paul Ricard. Most teams will come into the French Grand Prix fairly blind on tyre knowledge as the last Grand Prix hosted at Le Castellet was held back in 1990.
Teams may rely on data from their Formula 2 partnered teams who did preseason testing on Pirelli rubber back in March, however the feeder series uses 2016-spec tyres which bare little resemblance to this year’s rubber.
Some teams have also done small test and demonstration runs in the past at Paul Ricard, but all practice sessions regardless will be crucial for teams to get that competitive edge in qualifying and the race.
The French Grand Prix, the eighth round of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship, follows the Monaco and Canadian Grand Prix in the middle of the year from June 22-24.
Images via Pirelli Media