|GP2 Series in Hungary
Spa-Francorchamps is one of the toughest circuits on the GP2 and GP3 calendars, not only having the longest lap at 7.004 kilometres, but also lots of high-speed corners that place multi-directional forces on the tyres. The P Zero Orange hard and P Zero Yellow soft tyres have been selected for GP2 (a step softer than last year, when the hard and medium was chosen) while the medium tyre is nominated for GP3.
Spa-Francorchamps is located in the Ardennes region of Belgium, and is one of the most technically demanding tracks on the GP2 and GP3 calendar. The flowing track contains a wide variety of exhilarating corners as well as fast straights but with the lap being so long, there are many variables to contend with in just one lap, let alone the whole race.
The GP3 drivers have been nominated with the medium tyre, the same as 2014. However, the 2015 GP3 tyres are all a step softer than their 2014 equivalents – and this year, Saturday’s GP3 race is also longer. The GP2 drivers will once again have the hard tyre but this time accompanied by the soft as opposed to the medium, which was used in 2014. This will provide extra degradation to encourage even closer racing this year.
The weather provides a big challenge at Spa as it can often change mid race or even mid-lap, and rain is expected at some point over the weekend. This can have a dramatic effect on the race causing more pit stops and tyre changes, so strategy and speed of reaction is key.
Pirelli’s racing manager says:
|GP3 Series in Hungary
Mario Isola: “We now return to one of the toughest circuits on the calendar, Spa, after the summer break. This circuit is particularly testing on the tyres as each lap is so long with a wide-ranging set of demands. The weather can be a real game-changer at Spa and it is likely we will see some rain over the weekend. This often makes for a very exciting race, where strategy makes a real difference. Any mistakes are magnified by the length of the lap: if the wrong tyre choice is made, the drivers have to spend a comparatively long time on it before getting the chance to change. We’re expecting quite a big difference in terms of lap time between the hard and the soft in GP2, which should have an interesting effect on strategy. This also means that the soft tyre will be used for qualifying: the drivers will then have to make the best of these tyres for the rest of the weekend. In GP3, Saturday’s feature race is now longer than the sprint race on Sunday: this clearly has a significant effect on tyre usage and management.”
The challenge for the tyres:
The 7.004 kilometre circuit of Spa-Francorchamps was first used in 1979 in its current format and has been a popular motorsport circuit since, playing host to Formula One, various motorbike races and the renowned 24 Hours of Spa.
The main challenge for the tyres at Spa is the wide variety of corners and elevation changes: it’s a circuit that has a bit of everything, making it a good all-round test for cars, tyres and drivers.
The race and the rules:
Every car will have five sets of dry tyres and three sets of wet weather tyres available for the GP2 race weekend. The five sets of dry tyres comprise three sets of the hard compound and two sets of the soft compound.
The drivers can use their tyre allocation in any way they like, but at least one set of each compound must be used in the feature race (unless it is a wet race). One set of the harder compound must be returned after free practice.
Qualifying takes place at 15.55 on Friday, after practice at 11.55. Race One on Saturday is run at 15.40 over 25 laps and each driver must complete one compulsory pit stop. This cannot take place within the first six laps. Unlike Formula One, the drivers do not have to start the race using the tyres they qualified on.
The grid for Race Two on Sunday at 10.35 is determined by the finishing order of the first race, with the top eight positions reversed. Race Two is run over 18 laps, with no compulsory pit stops.
Every car will have three sets of dry tyres and two sets of wet weather tyres available for the GP3 race weekend. Only one compound is nominated: medium for this weekend. The drivers can use the tyre allocation in any way they like. All the GP3 compounds carry yellow markings.
Drivers are normally allowed to carry over one tyre set from the previous round for use in free practice only. This will be the hard compound from Hungaroring.
There is one practice session, one qualifying session and two races in GP3. Qualifying takes place at 09.45 on Saturday morning, after a single free practice session on Friday at 17.50. Race One starts at 17.20 on Saturday and lasts for 17 laps, followed by Race Two at 09.25 on Sunday (lasting 13 laps). The grid for Race Two is determined by the finishing order of the first race, with the top eight positions reversed.
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