With just a two-week break since Austria, the GP2 and GP3 championships resume at one of the fastest and most challenging tracks they will face all year: Silverstone, a home race for many drivers and teams.
The GP2 teams have the P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium tyres nominated for the weekend: just like Formula One, although the compounds and structures used in Formula One are of course very different.
This is the first time that this particular GP2 tyre nomination has been made all year, by contrast the GP3 crews will use the hard tyres, as they did at the first round in Barcelona.
This hardest possible nomination has been made due to the high speeds and long, fast corners at Silverstone, all of which come together to produce some of the biggest energy loadings that both the GP2 and GP3 tyres will face all year.
|GP2 is back in action at Silverstone|
Pirelli’s racing manager says:
Mario Isola: “Silverstone is a very demanding event for tyres, and what often complicates the issue is changeable weather, which can lead to an extremely wide range of temperatures experienced over the course of a weekend. We’ve seen very heavy rain as well as bright sunshine in the past, so the teams have to be prepared for anything. As a result, the information gathered in one session sometimes isn’t especially relevant to the next session, as the temperature has changed. This is especially the case for GP3, which has some very early sessions as well as some quite late sessions. Tyre degradation will be among the highest we see all year, so looking after the tyres and making sure that they don’t overheat will be more important than ever. It’s going to be a long and a tough race in GP2, which means that there is definitely the opportunity for the right strategy to make an important difference. In GP3 the challenge is a different one: getting the best out of a limited tyre allocation in both races, without loss of performance.”
The challenge for the tyres:
The speeds in Britain provide the biggest challenge for the tyres, with long fast corners that cars frequently accelerate out of, meaning that both lateral and longitudinal forces are at work at the same time. The cars run high-downforce settings to maximise cornering speeds, adding a further force pushing down onto the tyres.
There is a bit of variation in the surface at Silverstone. Certain sections of the track are bumpy under braking, and there are also some faster sections that are uneven.
|GP3 is also on the calendar at Silverstone|
Silverstone is not always the easiest circuit to overtake on, so qualifying well up the order and having a good strategy is especially important. The new infield section that was introduced in 2011, after Abbey curve, was designed to help promote overtaking.
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 harder compound (hard) and two sets of the softer compound (medium).
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 hard compound must be returned after free practice.
Qualifying takes place at 15:55 on Friday. Race One on Saturday is run at 14:40 over 29 laps and each driver must complete one compulsory pit stop. This cannot take place within the first six laps.
The grid for Race Two on Sunday at 09:20 is determined by the finishing order of the first race, with the top eight positions reversed. Race Two is run over 21 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: hard in Great Britain. The drivers can use the tyre allocation in any way they like. All the GP3 compounds carry yellow markings.
Drivers are allowed to carry over one tyre set from the previous round for use in free practice only. This means that some drivers will be using a set of the softs (from Austria) on Friday.
There is one practice session, one qualifying session and two races in GP3. Qualifying takes place at 08:45 on Saturday morning, after a single free practice session on Friday at 17:50. Race One starts at 16:20 on Saturday and lasts for 15 laps, followed by Race Two at 08:10 on Sunday (also 15 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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