F2 with hard and soft tyres at Silverstone, hard for GP3
The FIA Formula 2 Championship and GP3 Series race at Silverstone this weekend with the next generation of British drivers leading the way in both series: George Russell and Lando Norris in Formula 2 and Callum Ilott in GP3.
• Silverstone is one of the most demanding circuits for the tyres, due in particular to the high lateral loads placed on them through the many quick corners.
• The track was resurfaced earlier in 2018, increasing the amount of grip, making lap times quicker and reducing the degradation.
• The weather at Silverstone is often unpredictable, but with Britain in the midst of a heatwave, hot and dry conditions are expected. The heat combined with the heavy loads can increase surface temperatures.
The tyres and strategy
• The P Zero Ice Blue hard and P Zero Yellow soft tyres have been nominated for F2. Just like in Formula 1, this will be the first appearance of the hard compound this season, emphasising Silverstone’s high demands.
• 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 GP3 round: at Silverstone it’s the hard. Again, this is the first time this will be used 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?Charles Leclerc, now racing in Formula 1 with Sauber, won the Formula 2 feature race after starting on the soft tyres before switching to the hards, managing his tyres well despite his high pace. Nicholas Latifi won the sprint race on the hard tyres. In GP3, Russell saw off the challenge of Anthoine Hubert to win the first race, while Giuliano Alesi won the second.
Mario Isola, Pirelli head of car racing: “Silverstone is one of the most demanding races of the year for the tyres in both categories, thanks to the high-speed corners that take a lot of energy out of them over a prolonged period of time. This year, we have the added challenge of a new surface, which the drivers and teams will have to quickly assess during free practice, and what is likely to be hot weather over the weekend – although in England it’s always hard to make any firm prediction! Hopefully these factors will lead to a varied mix of strategies, resulting in some exciting and unpredictable races, just as we saw during the last time out in Austria.”
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