Pirelli P Zero tyres ready for Formula One feeder series' opening round at Istanbul

Pirelli will continue its comeback to international open-wheel racing when both the Formula One feeder series – GP2 and GP3 – get underway at the opening round of the season at Istanbul Park in Turkey, during the same race weekend as the Turkish Grand Prix (6-8 May). Pirelli is engaged at the highest level of world motorsport this year, supplying the Formula One World Championship along with the GP2 and GP3 Series, which are highly competitive one-make single-seater series that run during the same race weekends as the European grands prix. Following the requests of the GP2 and GP3 Series organisers, Pirelli has specifically designed tyres capable of higher performance with less durability, starting from this year. The compound specifications have been significantly improved compared to 2010, when Pirelli was the sole tyre supplier to the GP3 Series. These new features are intended to not only spice up the on-track action, but also to help drivers learn how to look after their rubber by driving smoothly: a skill that will be vital for their future careers. These young drivers have had a taste of the new P Zero rubber during the recently concluded pre-season tests, with the Italian tyres performing faultlessly in a wide range of weather and track conditions. Pirelli’s Motorsport Director, Paul Hembery, commented: “Our new Pirelli tyres are absolutely ready for GP2 and GP3 competition, and so we’ve collected some very positive impressions from drivers and teams during testing and racing. Just like Formula One, the GP2 and GP3 organisers specifically asked Pirelli to design tyres with variable durability, because tyre management is crucial for any driver’s career and it also adds an extra element of intrigue to the racing. In a one-make single-seater series with identical cars and set ups, it’s the driver that makes the difference. I believe that the features we have built into our new Pirelli tyres will really highlight young talent and help all these up and coming drivers to improve their racing skills.” At Istanbul, Pirelli will equip both GP2 and GP3 with its medium compound rubber because of the extremely versatile features of this tyre, as Pirelli’s Racing Manager Mario Isola explained: “The Istanbul Park circuit is quite a complicated track because of its medium abrasive surface and several challenging turns that put a lot of pressure on the tyres. Specifically, the front right tyre absorbs most of the stress that the track provides: especially in the well-known Turn Eight, which is a fast and sweeping corner with four apexes. We decided to equip both GP3 and GP2 drivers with our medium slicks because Istanbul is a very demanding circuit that has a stronger impact on the tyre structure than on the compound.” The Istanbul Park circuit is a 5.338 km long track, with an average width of 15 metres, ranging from 14.5 to 21 metres. The circuit has a total of 14 corners and runs over four different elevations with a start/finish straight over 650 metres. The undulating track is also known for its quite bumpy surface. On Friday 6 May, the GP3 drivers will take part in two practice sessions while the GP2 drivers will complete a single practice and qualifying session. On Saturday 7 May, GP3 drivers will complete their qualifying session in the morning followed by the GP2 feature race at 15:40 and GP3 feature race at 17:20 local time. Before the Turkish Grand Prix gets underway on Sunday 8 May, the GP3 sprint race will take place at 10:25, followed by the GP2 sprint race at 11:35. The GP2 drivers will run for 32 laps in Saturday’s race and 23 laps in Sunday’s race, while both GP3 races will last 15 laps. For further information please contact: Laura Bartoli on +44 7500 877 304 or laura@mediatica.co.uk