but no Floyd

Pink but no Floyd 01

Have a cigar: the hypersoft is here
“The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think, oh, by the way, which one’s Pink?” sang Pink Floyd in ‘Have a Cigar’: the third track from the legendary 1975 ‘Wish You Were Here’ album, a prog rock classic, released in the same year that Niki Lauda won his first Formula 1 title.
The song was a sideswipe at the hypocrisy and lack of understanding in the music industry, because of course nobody in the band was called that. Instead it was formed by the names of two blues singers that lead vocalist Syd Barrett had in his record collection at the time: Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.
When it comes to the Monaco Grand Prix though, the answer to the question ‘which one’s Pink?’ should be more straightforward: the pink one will be the fastest tyre there. In fact,
the fastest tyre ever seen in the long history of Formula 1’s most famous race.
Based on testing data, lap times might even come down by a couple of seconds, because the brand new P Zero Pink hypersoft is effectively two steps softer than the previous ‘softest’ tyre raced over the principality’s streets: the 2017 Purple ultrasoft.
So the band of tyres at the Monaco Grand Prix should all be just fantastic – but, unlike 1975, it's pretty easy to tell which one’s Pink. 

Pink but no Floyd 02

Avoiding The Wall
“And if we tell you the name of the game, we call it riding the gravy train”. The ‘gravy train’ cynically referred to in ‘Have a Cigar’ is the music business as a whole, in which many of the leading players do each other a series of ongoing mutual favours as part of an agreed self-protection cartel. So nothing like Formula 1 at all, clearly.
But there’s a very real train that’s important to avoid in Monaco, and that’s the queue behind the leader. Although it’s an accepted truism that the race is mainly decided in qualifying on Saturday afternoon, in actual fact the polesitter hasn’t won in Monaco since 2014. 
Nonetheless, overtaking is notoriously difficult, and that’s why the Pink hypersoft is going to play such a vital part in the outcome – as it’s only by getting the very best out of the softest tyres that the drivers can boost their chances of starting higher up the grid. 
Once you’re behind, getting past is practically impossible, as even the great Nigel Mansell found out in 1992, trying in vain to muscle his way past Ayrton Senna. 
Even if you’re on Pinks, get it wrong in Monaco and you’ll hit The Wall, where you might just end up Comfortably Numb.

Wish you were here
“It's a hell of a start, it could be made into a monster, if we all pull together as a team.” Even the last few lines of ‘Have a Cigar’ are relevant to the Monaco Grand Prix – who would have thought that prog rock could be so instructive?   
A ‘hell of a start’ is guaranteed: the run down to Sainte Devote is always a buttock-clenching moment, and thanks to the Pink hypersoft, the cars will be barrelling into it en masse this year quicker than has ever been tried before.
But pulling together as a team is especially crucial because the reason why the polesitter hasn't won in Monaco since 2014 is all down to what’s gone on in the pits. In 2015, Lewis Hamilton was called in for an extra pit stop that cost him the race, in 2016 a botched stop deprived Daniel Ricciardo of victory, and in 2017…Kimi Raikkonen is probably still wondering now how he started off first and ended up second. Pink tyre or not, Monaco is still going to contain one pit stop (and probably only one) so getting it right will make the difference between winning and losing. 
Rarely have the lyrics of just one Pink Floyd song been so prophetic, on a weekend when it’s all about Pink. Tame the monster, and you can definitely have a cigar.

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