CLOSE RACING ON PIRELLI TYRES IN F2 AND F3 AT HIGH-SPEED SILVERSTONE
There was hard-fought racing in both Formula 2 and Formula 3 at Silverstone as part of the British Grand Prix. F2 had the hard and soft compound tyres available, with F3 on hard tyres: in both categories, the tyres coped with the demands of the high-speed Silverstone circuit while also providing good grip in relatively cool conditions.
Feature Race, the winner: Luca Ghiotto claimed his first feature race win, after taking the lead from his UNI-Virtuosi team-mate Guanyu Zhou at the start. All of the frontrunners began the race on the soft tyre, before switching to the hard after the pit window opened on lap six of 29. Ghiotto pitted on lap seven, a lap later than Zhou and Nicholas Latifi (DAMS), and rejoined under pressure from Latifi, who jumped ahead of Zhou in the pits. With his hard tyres already up to temperature, Latifi was able to overtake Ghiotto, but the Italian fought back just two laps later before pulling away to victory.
Luca Ghiotto: “Nicholas stopped one lap earlier than me and when I went out he could overtake me with hotter tyres. After he overtook me I immediately thought that I had to try to overtake him straight away or back off because when you stay close to another car on this track it's pretty easy to destroy your front tyres. I tried to push very hard to overtake him and luckily I managed to do so. With the help of some cars that still had to stop I could make a bit of a gap and kept my pace until the end.”
Feature Race, alternative strategy: As in the last round in Austria, Nikita Mazepin (ART Grand Prix) attempted the alternate strategy from 16th on the grid, starting on the hard tyres and leading a large part of the race after others pitted. After switching to the soft tyres with nine laps to go, he rejoined in 12th where he was set to finish until contact from another car on the last lap.
Sprint Race, the winner: Jack Aitken won the sprint race for Campos from fourth on the grid. After passing Nyck de Vries and managing his tyres in the first half of the race, Aitken set a series of fastest laps to catch and pass Louis Deletraz with five laps remaining, finishing up five seconds clear.
Race 1, the winner: Juri Vips (Hitech) repeated his victory from Austria, leading from pole position, managing his tyres under intense pressure from Jehan Daruvala (Prema). A safety car restart with five laps to go proved crucial, with Vips able to build a small gap after getting his tyres up to temperature.
Race 2, the winner: Leonardo Pulcini made it a double win in F3 for the Silverstone-based Hitech team, charging through the order from fifth on the grid. Championship leader Robert Shwartzman took second for Prema, with MP Motorsport driver Liam Lawson holding off a number of drivers for third.
Pirelli’s head of F1 and car racing Mario Isola: “Silverstone presented a particular challenge this year with cool and changeable weather, as well as brand new asphalt that the teams all needed to get to grips with. Tyre wear proved to be a factor here, which had a clear effect on the strategy. This was a particular priority in Formula 3, with no pit stops throughout each race. As a result, we saw a very exciting F3 race on Sunday morning, with the tyre degradation contributing to some spectacular action.”
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