Think you’re fast? Jordan Formula One driver Tiago Monteiro endures sustained cornering forces of three and a half “G’s” plus vision blurring levels of acceleration and stopping power. Driver, chassis and aerodynamics are all crucial, but tires have never been more important. Tire and Wheel Canada asked Tiago about the rubber that keeps him on track.
T & W: What does it feel like to drive the grooved specification Formula 1 tires compared to “slicks”?
Tiago Monteiro: “Well, I never drove a “slick tire” F1 so it’s difficult to compare. But the grooved tires are really similar in feeling to slicks. The only difference is when you slide and take some angle… Then it feels like there is less grip than slicks.”
T & W: How do they feel when new compared to worn?
Tiago Monteiro: “There is a big gap between new and old tires. But it’s the same as slick tires.
T & W: How much of a difference in lap times can be seen as they wear?
Tiago Monteiro: “That is difficult to say now with the one lap qualifying system. It happens a lot that we do quicker lap times in the race due to the fuel load that is less before a pit stop and also because the tires have to last a full race so they are harder. They sometimes reach their peak half way through the race.
T & W: Can you conserve tires in your car, or must you drive “maximum attack” for the entire run?
Tiago Monteiro: “Early on when Bridgestone was searching for endurance we needed to be careful at some points in the race, but in the last few races, we can push hard all race long!”
Drives: Jordan EJ15B, powered by Toyota. Bridgestone tires.
Born: Oporto, Portugal
Marital Status: Single
Height: 174 cm
Weight: 64 kg
Notes: Tiago speaks Portuguese, French, English, Spanish, Italian, and entered Formula 1 after only eight years of racing