The FIA Formula 2 Championship and GP3 Series move from Spa-Francorchamps to another classic circuit this weekend: Monza.
At its home rounds in Italy, Pirelli will supply the P Zero White medium tire and P Zero Yellow soft tire for Formula 2, with the soft tire nominated as the sole compound for GP3.
Pirelli will also host the launch of the new 2018 Formula 2 car, which will take place in the Formula 1 paddock at Monza at 13:15 on Thursday.
Pirelli’s head of car racing says:
Mario Isola: “The Monza weekend is one we always look forward to at Pirelli, and that includes the Formula 2 and GP3 races, which are often action-packed thanks to the good overtaking opportunities the circuit provides. With equal opportunities from the cars, driving talent comes to the forefront. As track position can be less important than at other circuits, there will be good strategic opportunities for the F2 teams to take advantage of in the feature race. In GP3, we often see that race pace – and the ability to preserve the tire performance – is more important to a strong result than qualifying speed. Another event we’re looking forward to is the launch of the new Formula 2 car for 2018 and beyond: we’re privileged to host this important event in our Formula 1 fitting area on Thursday.”
The challenge for the tires:
Monza’s long straights make it the fastest circuit on the calendar, and teams set the cars up with low-downforce configurations in order to maximize top speeds. This means that through the corners, the drivers rely more on the mechanical grip from the tires than the aerodynamic grip.
The long straights are punctuated by chicanes, where heavy braking and traction mean longitudinal forces are applied to the tires. There are also sustained lateral forces through the long Curva Grande and Parabolica corners.
The tires are also tested every lap around the Monza circuit by many impacts with the curbs, particularly in the chicanes.
Warm weather is likely over the course of the weekend, especially with Italy emerging from a particularly hot summer. This will increase demands on the tires even further.
The race and the rules:
Every car will have five sets of dry tires and three sets of wet weather tires available for the Formula 2 race weekend. The five sets of dry tires include three sets of the medium compound and two sets of the soft compound.
The drivers can use their tire 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 16:20 on Friday after practice at 11:55. The feature race on Saturday at 16:00 lasts 30 laps and each driver must 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 tires they qualified on.
The grid for the sprint race on Sunday at 10:15 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.
Every car will have three sets of dry tires and two sets of wet weather tires available for the GP3 race weekend. Only one compound is nominated: soft for this weekend. The drivers can use the tire allocation in any way they like.
Drivers are allowed to carry over one tire set from the previous round for use in free practice only. This will be the medium compound from Spa.
Qualifying takes place at 09:45 on Saturday after a single free practice session on Friday at 18:15. Race 1 starts at 17:50 on Saturday and lasts for 22 laps, followed by Race Two at 09:00 on Sunday (lasting 17 laps). The grid for Race 2 is determined by the finishing order of the first race, with the top eight positions reversed.
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