F2 AT SILVERSTONE WITH HARD AND SOFT TYRES, HARD COMPOUND FOR F3
Silverstone is next up for the up-and-coming drivers in Formula 2 and Formula 3 as the two championships support the Formula 1 British Grand Prix.
• Silverstone’s numerous fast corners, each producing high lateral loads, make it one of the most demanding circuits on the calendar for the tyres.
• The Maggots-Becketts-Chapel sequence is particularly notable, with several consecutive high-speed changes of direction.
• The circuit has recently been resurfaced to eliminate some of the bumps seen last year and make it drain water more effectively.
• The weather during the British summer is known for being unpredictable. Rain is usually a possibility, although hot and dry conditions can also be experienced. If it rains on the new and greasy asphalt, judging the crossover point from full wet tyres to hard slicks – and vice versa – could be particularly tricky on the slippery surface, as there is no intermediate tyre for F2.
The tyres and strategy
• The P Zero White hard and P Zero Red soft tyres have been nominated for F2 at Silverstone. The same combination was used at the circuit in 2018 and has already been seen in both Spain as well as France earlier this season.
• In F2, each driver has five sets of slick tyres to use over the weekend: three hard and two soft. They also have three sets of wet-weather tyres. During race one, where there is a mandatory pit stop, both compounds have to be used unless it is declared a wet race. Pit stops are optional in race two.
• Just one tyre is nominated for each F3 round: in Silverstone it’s the hard. This is the hardest of the three tyres in the F3 range; previously used in Barcelona earlier this season. Usually, drivers get three new sets of dry tyres plus one carry-over set of mediums from the previous round for us in practice, but instead of carrying over the soft from Austria, teams will get a fourth new set of the hard compound. There are two sets of wet-weather tyres as well.
What happened last year?
Alex Albon won the Formula 2 feature race at Silverstone ahead of George Russell. Both started on the soft tyre before switching to the hard tyre when the pit window opened at the end of lap six: Albon got ahead of pole-sitter Russell, who had a slower pit-stop. Maximilian Gunther won the sprint race ahead of Russell and Norris – who, like Albon, are now racing in Formula 1 – who charged from seventh and 10th on the grid to finish on the podium in front of the home crowd. Anthoine Hubert and Pedro Piquet won the GP3 races.
Mario Isola, Pirelli head of F1 and car racing: “Silverstone is known as the ‘home of British motorsport’ so it’s a very significant race for many teams and drivers in both the F2 and F3 championships. The biggest question mark will be the new asphalt, which nobody has had a chance to drive on yet, while the weather in England at this time of year is also often variable. We expect quite a big performance gap between the two nominated compounds in Formula 2, which should hopefully lead to some interesting strategies. The soft will need careful management on this demanding circuit but will offer a considerable performance advantage.”
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