|F2 drivers will have Red supersoft and White
medium tyres in Baku
Pirelli will supply the P Zero White medium and P Zero Red supersoft tyres for the FIA Formula 2 Championship races in Baku this weekend.
The capital of Azerbaijan hosts a second consecutive street circuit event for the Formula 2 drivers, but with long straights and some fairly fast corners it offers a rather different challenge to the tight and twisty Monaco.
Pirelli’s head of car racing says:
Mario Isola: “Although Baku shares some characteristics with Monaco there are a number of key differences too, most noticeably the higher speeds. With more energy going through the tyres, plus the potential for high temperatures, this means taking the medium tyre as well as the supersoft. This notable gap between the compounds should encourage more opportunities for drivers to go wheel-to-wheel. Based upon last year, one thing that may be similar to Monaco is the likelihood of a safety car and therefore the importance of strategy.”
The challenge for the tyres:
As a street circuit, there will be considerable track evolution over the course of the event, with low grip at the start of the weekend, but this will improve as more rubber is laid on the track during each session.
In order to optimise speed down the very long main straight, teams do not run with the highest possible downforce on the cars, meaning there is more reliance on the tyres to provide mechanical grip through the many corners.
With walls lining the narrow circuit and little run-off area, safety cars are a likely occurrence. Strategy, and the timing of the mandatory pit-stop, around such instances can be crucial to the result.
Managing the wear and degradation of the supersoft compound in the Feature Race will be vital for strategy and could hold the key to victory.
The race and the rules:
Every car will have five sets of dry tyres and three sets of wet weather tyres available for the Formula 2 race weekend. The five sets of dry tyres comprise three sets of the medium compound and two sets of the supersoft 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 15:00 on Friday, after practice at 11:00. The Feature Race is on Saturday at 12:00 and lasts 29 laps with each driver obliged to complete one compulsory pit stop. This cannot take place within the first six laps. Unlike Formula 1, the drivers do not have to start the race using the tyres they qualified on.
The grid for the Sprint Race on Sunday at 14:00 is determined by the finishing order of the first race, with the top eight positions reversed. It is run over 21 laps, with no compulsory pit stops.
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