There was plenty of strategy at work in the opening round of the GP2 Series at Barcelona, where the P Zero Orange hard and P Zero Yellow soft tyres were nominated. The new 2016 GP3 car also made its debut, with the hard tyres only nominated. GP2

Norman Nato won in GP2

Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly qualified on pole position and seemed set to win on Prema Racing’s debut in GP2, but he was passed by Racing Engineering’s Norman Nato during the closing stages of the feature race in a brilliant move. Both of them started on the hard tyre, then swapped to the soft tyre during the second of two safety car periods. DAMS driver Alex Lynn was the highest-placed driver to start on the soft tyre, from third on the grid, swapping to the hard tyre during the first safety car – which coincided with the pit stop window opening. Nicolas Latifi, Lynn’s team mate, used the same strategy as the top two drivers and completed the podium after an action-packed race that went to the hour-long time limit. In fact, both GP2 races this weekend ended up finishing behind the safety car. Sunday’s GP2 sprint race winner was Lynn, who also won the same race in Barcelona last year. All the drivers used the hard compound tyre for the 26-lap race, held in warm and dry conditions with no mandatory pit stops. Only in GP2 qualifying was there some light rain, but not enough to warrant the use of the wet-weather tyres. GP3

Charles Leclerc also took his first win in GP3

The all-new GP3 car introduced this year creates more downforce, which in turn puts more load through the tyres. As a result, both the structure and compounds have changed, in order to match the latest car characteristics. Up-and-coming Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc (ART Grand Prix) made an excellent move from the second row of the grid to claim the lead by the first corner of Saturday’s 22-lap feature race, which was again preceded by light rain. Slick P Zero tyres were used from start to finish, although due to the conditions grip was sometimes variable on certain corners. Like GP2, GP3 uses a reverse grid for the second race of the weekend on Sunday morning, which lasted 17 laps. Alexander Albon took his debut win and made it two victories out of two for ART Grand Prix in GP3, again from the second row of the grid. Ninth place for Leclerc meant that he retained the championship lead, while Gasly leads the GP2 standings. Quotes: Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola concluded: “We had three new winners in GP2 and GP3 this weekend, during challenging conditions that included threats of rain, followed by higher temperatures on Sunday. In the sprint races in particular, tyre management was key, with the drivers not having had the opportunity to complete such long runs on the tyres since testing in Barcelona, which took place under very different track conditions. As usual, strategy played a key role in the GP2 feature race, with the top three using different strategies and adapting them to the race circumstances.” The next round of the GP2 series will take place at Monaco from 26-28 May, while GP3 races next in Austria from July 1-3


For further information please contact: Anthony Peacock • +44 7765 896 930 • anthony@mediaticaworld.com