2023 Spanish Grand Prix - Sunday
MARIO ISOLA - MOTORSPORT DIRECTOR
“On a track that is particularly demanding for the tyres, we witnessed a race in which all three available dry compounds came into play, each one used extensively. The C1 covered 41.6% of the laps completed, then came the C2 (30.6%) and the C3 (27.9%). The decision to introduce the new for 2023 C1 specification compound meant that a two-stop strategy was on the cards and was used by most of the teams. Compared with our pre-race predictions we saw that the Medium was more competitive, partly down to the track temperature being significantly lower than during last year’s race. Initial analysis suggests that degradation on all the compounds was lower, even with the softest C3. Notable examples of this were the first stints for the two Mercedes drivers with Russell doing 25 laps and Hamilton 24, or Alonso’s middle stint (25 laps) running a heavy fuel load and yet running at a pretty competitive pace.
It’s been a very busy weekend for Pirelli. Apart from F1 here in Barcelona, we were also working at all three car racing series in which we are the sole tyre supplier – in Sardinia with the WRC and in France at Paul Ricard with the GT World Challenge Europe. Additionally, there was our two-wheeled commitment and in Misano (Italy) we celebrated Pirelli’s 20th anniversary as sole tyre supplier in the SBK Championship. Pirelli is staying in Barcelona with two days of very important testing this coming week aimed at next season. The programme is focused on the development of compounds that can be used without the usual pre-heating procedures.”
THE RACE FROM A TYRE POINT OF VIEW
- Max Verstappen continues on his winning way, victory in the Spanish Grand Prix being the Dutchman’s fifth from the seven races so far the season. It’s his 40th career win.
- Proof of the reigning world champion’s dominance can be seen from the fact he secured the third Grand Slam of his career – the win, pole position, fastest race lap and leading for all laps. He did this previously in Spielberg in 2021 and Imola last year.
- The Mercedes drivers filled the other podium places. Lewis Hamilton who, along with Michael Schumacher has won six times in Barcelona, was second, followed by George Russell.
- Of all the cars that started from the grid, only Red Bull opted for anything other than the Soft tyre. Verstappen and Perez started on the P Zero Yellow medium. Logan Sargeant (Williams) and Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) started from pit lane, the former on Medium, the latter on P Zero White hard.
- It was hard to predict strategies for the Spanish Grand Prix, partly due to the low level of degradation on the compounds, as well as the chance of rain arriving, although that was ruled out after a few laps. The first four all took the chequered flag on Softs. The Red Bull pair went from Medium to Hard (Verstappen after 26 laps, Perez 23) while Mercedes opted for the Medium in the middle stint. Aston Martin went for Softs for the first two stints, doing the last on the hardest compound. Others to finish on the Hard tyre were the Ferrari, Alpine and Alfa Romeo drivers and Logan Sargeant (Williams).
- The Haas drivers were the only ones to pit three times. They started on Softs, switching to Mediums for the second stint, Hards for the third, finishing the race on Mediums again. Lando Norris also pitted three times, but the first time it was to change the front wing at the end of the opening lap.
- Fastest on the Hards was Alonso. Aston Martin’s Spaniard clocked a time of 1m18.083s on lap 49. Kevin Magnussen was quickest on Mediums in 1m18.069s, while Max Verstappen set the fastest race lap on Softs in 1m16.330s.
- In his second stint, Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) did more laps (34) than any other driver on the hardest compound. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) did 32 on the Medium tyre in his last stint. Leclerc, Alonso and Russell did 25 laps on the Soft.
- Track temperature dropped during the race. When the red lights went out, the track sensords recorded 30.9°C while at the end it was 26.7°C (the highest on the grid was 31.3°C).
Frederik Vesti won the Formula 2 Sprint Race in Montmelo. Prema Racing’s young Dane finished ahead of the ART Grand Prix duo of Theo Pourchaire and Victor Martins. Oliver Bearman (Prema Racing) took his third win of the season in the Feature Race. On Sunday, he was followed home by Enzo Fittipaldi (Rodin Carlin) and Victor Martins. The Pirelli-shod series is back in action in Austria for the seventh round of the season.
Zak O’Sullivan won the Formula 3 Sprint race in Barcelona. The Englishman, driving for the Prema team, finished ahead of his Williams Academy colleague Luke Browning (Hitech) while Leonardo Fornaroli (Trident) was third. Victory in the Feature race went to Josep Maria Martì for Campos Racing. Joining him on the podium were Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport) and Dino Beganovic (Prema). The next round of the Pirelli-shod championship takes place at Spielberg from 30 June to 2 July.
PIRELLI AROUND THE WORLD THIS WEEKEND
It has been a particularly busy weekend for Pirelli Motorsport, because apart from the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, with Formula 2 and 3 also taking place in Barcelona, there were rounds of three other championships for which the company is the sole tyre supplier. The World Rally Championship competitors were tackling the Rally Italia Sardegna at Olbia, round 2 of the GT World Challenge Europe took place at the Paul Ricard circuit and finally, Misano hosted the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna round of the FIM Superbike World Championship. This last event marked 20 years since the Milanese company became the sole supplier for all the Superbike classes.
World Rally Championship
Thierry Neuville has won the Rally Italia Sardegna for Hyundai at the end of a very exciting event. The teams had to rejig their pre-event strategy because of unexpected heavy rainfall. Esapekka Lappi made it a one-two for the Korean company, finishing 33 seconds behind his team-mate. Kalle Rovanpera was third for Toyota, 1m55.3s off the winner, allowing him to maintain his championship lead.
GT World Challenge Europe
The Paul Ricard 1000 km round of the GT World Challenge Europe was won by French team Akkodis ASP’s #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3. It worked its way up to the front in the closing stages, crewed by Raffaele Marciello, Jules Gounon e Timur Boguslavskiy. Another Mercedes, the #777 car run by the AIManar team of Maro Engel, Luca Stolz and Fabian Schiller. Standing on the third step of the podium were Philipp Eng, Marco Wittmann and Nicholas Yelloly with the Rowe Racing BMW M4 GT3.
FIM Superbike World Championship
Race-1 of the FIM Superbike World Championship at the Misano World Circuit was won by Alvaro Bautista, while Michael Ruben Rinaldi made it a one-two finish for the Aruba.it Racing Ducati team. Toprak Razgatlioglu was third for Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSKB. Bautista again dominated race-2, this time followed across the line by Razgatlioglu and Axel Bassani for Motocorsa Racing. At this Pirelli Emilia-Romagna round at Misano, the fifth of the season, Pirelli celebrated 20 years as the sole tyre supplier for all classes of the World Championship.
NEXT UP FOR OUR F1 TYRES
Pirelli is staying on at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit, for two days of testing for next season’s tyres with Ferrari and Mercedes running on Tuesday and Wednesday. They will be trying various compounds to be used without being preheated. The next round of the Formula 1 World Championship is the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, from 16 to 18 June.
Founded in 1872, Pirelli is a company with deep Italian roots now recognised all over the world for its cutting-edge technology, capacity for innovation, and the quality of its products. Motorsport has always played an important part in Pirelli’s strategy, following the ‘race to road’ philosophy. The company has been engaged in motorsport for 116 years and today supplies tyres to more than 350 championships on both two and four wheels. Pirelli pays constant attention to the most efficient use of natural resources and energy, aiming to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.
Pirelli has been Global Tyre Partner of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship since 2011. The company also supplies championships including FIA Formula 2, FIA Formula 3, Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, FIA World Rally Championship and GT World Challenge, alongside numerous national series.