NEW STARS TO BE CROWNED WITH PIRELLI IN FINAL F2 AND GP3 ROUNDS
The final rounds of the Pirelli-supported FIA Formula 2 Championship and GP3 Series seasons will take place in Abu Dhabi, with new champions to be decided in both of the Formula 1 feeder series. These will be crowned at a special prize-giving ceremony on Sunday night in Abu Dhabi, with the GP3 winner receiving a cheque for €200,000 from Pirelli towards a Formula 2 drive. The new international Formula 3 car – which replaces GP3 next year – will also be revealed over the Abu Dhabi weekend, on Pirelli tyres.
• The Yas Marina circuit is made up of three distinct sectors. The first is where the fastest and longest corners are found, with high lateral forces placed upon the tyres. The middle sector is dominated by two long straights, while the final part of the lap is slower and more twisting.
• The varied characteristics of the track means that setup is a compromise. Teams favour a medium downforce setup to aid straight line speed, so there is a high reliance on mechanical grip from the tyres for cornering speed.
• A smooth track surface means that wear is fairly low, but traction is key to carrying good speed out of the slow corners and onto the long straights. Drivers must therefore avoid wheelspin to preserve the rear tyres.
The tyres and strategy
• The P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft tyres have been nominated for F2. These are the two softest compounds in the F2 range: a combination already used in Monaco, Austria and Russia in 2018.
• In F2, each driver has five sets of slick tyres to use over the weekend: three soft and two supersoft. 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 Yas Marina it’s the soft which has been used on four previous occasions this year. As was the case at Sochi, there are no carry-over sets: drivers will get four new sets of tyres, one of which must be returned after free practice. There are two sets of wet-weather tyres as well.
What happened last time?Artem Markelov won the F2 feature race after Oliver Rowland was penalised for a technical infringement. Both drivers had started on the supersoft tyres before switching to the softs. Charles Leclerc ended up second after using the alternate strategy, and then won the sprint race from seventh on the grid with a final-lap pass after preserving his soft tyres. Niko Kari and Dorian Boccolacci won the GP3 races.
Mario Isola, Pirelli head of car racing: “Abu Dhabi always serves up a spectacular ending to the F2 and GP3 seasons, often with fantastic racing as the championships are decided. Tyre strategy and management is usually central to this. The drivers have to tackle a circuit that combines many different demands, and with the softest compounds nominated in both championships, they will have to consider how to best use their tyres over a race distance. Unlike Formula 1, the Formula 2 and GP3 drivers are often running in the heat of the day, which clearly increases the demands on the tyres.”
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