Pirelli says the early data established on the new purple-banded ultra-soft tyre and the high number of selections by teams for Monaco indicates the compound will be 'a serious race tyre rather than just a qualifying special'.

Pirelli chief Paul Hembery is eager to debut the new ultra-soft compound which is set for its maiden race outing in the Monaco Grand Prix and feels it is the optimum tyre in terms of performance the manufacturer is able to produce in the existing regulations.

After the first showing of the ultra-softs during winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya the majority of teams and drivers have picked a healthy helping of sets and is predicting it to be one of the more popular tyre compounds used in the race rather than just as a pure qualifying tyre.

"Monte Carlo will mark the first race for our new purple ultra-soft tyre, which offers the maximum performance and technology that we can put into a compound," Hembery said. "However, the large numbers of this compound nominated by the teams for the Monaco GP shows that it is a serious race tyre rather than just a 'qualifying special'.

"With the unique conditions of Monaco, and its own specific timetable, the teams will be looking to get a thorough read on the characteristics of the new ultra-soft during free practice. Only then will we have an accurate idea of race strategy, although with the difficulty of overtaking, drivers will be looking to minimise their pit stops."

After the ultra-soft tyre's F1 debut it is being retained for next month's Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal and will also be given an outing at the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg. The red-banded super-soft and yellow-banded soft tyres will also be used in Monaco, Canada and Austria alongside the ultra-soft.

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