Pirelli nominates P Zero GP2 and GP3 medium slicks for Spa
After a three-week break Formula One’s feeder series, GP2 and GP3, will be back on track at Spa-Francorchamps, where Pirelli will supply its medium compound slick tyres during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.
Located in the heart of the Ardennes forest near Liege, Spa-Francorchamps is one of the most picturesque circuits on the international calendar. Its spectacular turns, rapid changes of elevation and breath-taking scenery make racing at Spa a true test of skill for both the GP2 and GP3 drivers as well as Pirelli’s P Zero medium tyres.With its 7.004-kilometre lap, Spa is one of the most challenging venues in the world thanks to its fast, hilly and twisty nature, which puts heavy longitudinal demands on the tyres. Apart from being famous for its heart-stopping corners such as Eau Rouge and Blanchimont, the track is well known for its unpredictable weather. The drivers are frequently confronted with one part of the track being clear and bright while another stretch can be rainy and slippery. Pirelli’s Racing Manager Mario Isola commented: “The P Zero GP2 and GP3 tyres in medium compound specification are versatile tyres designed to work well in a wide range of conditions. This makes them well suited to circuits with varying characteristics such as Spa-Francorchamps. Being easily adaptable, they can be used at hot and technical tracks as well as at much cooler or even damp circuits: making them a perfect choice for Belgium because of the weather, which is quite unpredictable. It will be interesting to see which strategies the drivers will put in place and how the tyres will perform under changeable weather and mixed track conditions, should some sections be dry and others wet during the races. Isola continued: “Adding to the challenge of the weather will be the extremely high vertical loads which put heavy demands on the rubber: probably the heaviest of the racing calendar. This is true especially when tackling the Eau Rouge and Raidillon combination, which requires a large amount of ability from the driver to successfully negotiate while resulting in high compression levels for the tyres. Our medium slicks will provide drivers with the necessary grip and performance on a circuit which probably demonstrates the importance of driver skill more than any other in the world.” GP2 driver Luiz Razia (Caterham Team Air Asia) commented: “The team and I did a great job at the Hungaroring running on Pirelli’s soft compound tyres. Personally I prefer the P Zero soft slicks to the harder compounds but I think we will be fine at Spa where Pirelli will supply its medium rubber. For Belgium a good car set-up and tyre strategy will be the key to success as we may have to deal with mixed track conditions. In the end, it’s good to have tyres with variable durability because now it’s all up to us drivers: we have the toughest job but we can really prove ourselves too.” GP3 driver Valtteri Bottas (Lotus ART) commented: “I enjoyed running on Pirelli’s soft slicks at the Hungaroring because this rubber compound provides good grip and I like feeling the peak that they have after a few laps. The medium compound is a bit trickier because it is difficult to predict when it’s the right moment to push hard and set the pace, especially in qualifying. Spa is a demanding track with long and fast corners which tend to overheat the tyres – but because of the weather, which is always a big question mark, it’s too early to say that for sure.” On Friday 26 August, the GP3 drivers will take part in two practice sessions while the GP2 drivers will complete a single practice and qualifying session. On Saturday 27 August, GP3 drivers will complete their qualifying session in the morning, followed by the GP2 feature race at 15:40 and the first GP3 race at 17:20 local time. Before the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix gets underway on Sunday 28 August, the second GP3 race will take place at 9:20, followed by the GP2 sprint race at 10:30. The GP2 drivers will cover 25 laps in Saturday’s race and 18 laps in Sunday’s race, while both GP3 races will last for 12 laps. For further information please contact: Laura Bartoli on +44 7500 877304 or firstname.lastname@example.org