The outlook for the Italian Grand Prix is very interesting, with signs that the key to the race will be for teams to gamble on getting to the finish without over stressing the front right tyre.
Monza is a one stop race, always has been because the pit lane time is long, due to the fact that the cars staying on track are travelling very quickly. A one stop strategy this year looks like it is 10 seconds faster than a two stop.
However the other problem with Monza is that the temperature of the inside shoulder of the front tyres gets very high with the high wheel speeds and the shouder wears more than the rest of the tyre. This is exacerbated by the tyre scrubbing across the surface of the track through the long right handed Parabolica corner. Trying to do one stop with these tyres means doing around 24-25 laps on the medium in the first stint and then 28 or 29 on the hard tyre on the second stint.
The concern is that in the closing five or six laps some cars will show a white line on the inside shoulder of the right front tyre – it will be clearly visible from the on board cameras – which means the driver should pit immediately as the rubber has worn down to the nylon.
This would wreck a one stop strategy and teams must decide whether to risk that or to go for two stops.
Mercedes, who gambled on one stop in Spa and were forced to make a late stop, look certain to set out with the intention of stopping twice. Both drivers have saved a set of medium tyres, which you would only do if you planned to do two stints on mediums and one on hards.
Will anyone else copy them? or will they try to make it to the finish?
The result could be quite seriously affected by anyone who tries but fails to do a one stopper.