The FIA Formula 2 Championship and GP3 Series will host its penultimate rounds of the season this weekend in Jerez, Spain, while the Formula 1 races will be held separately in Japan. This is the only separate round of the season for Formula 2 and GP3, as both championships are normally held alongside the Formula 1 races in the same location.

Formula 2 will use the Pirelli P Zero White medium tires and P Zero Yellow soft tires, while the Pirelli hard tire is nominated for GP3.

There hasn’t been a Formula 1 race at Jerez since 1997, when the world championship was decided. However it has recently been used as a Formula 1 test venue, thanks to its warm climate and all-round technical challenges.

F2 drivers GP3

Mario Isola, Pirelli’s Head of Car Racing says:

“The Jerez circuit has been completely re-asphalted recently; therefore the surface characteristics have changed, resulting in much smoother asphalt and fewer bumps, according to our engineers who have assessed the new asphalt. Jerez is a venue that we know well from Formula 1 testing, and it’s a track with a wide variety of technical corners that can challenge every aspect of driver and car performance: this is one of the reasons it has been chosen for testing purposes.”

Challenges for the Tires:

Jerez has not held races for either Formula 2 or GP3 before yet participating teams have tested there in previous years. Despite this, the new smoother surface could reduce the relevance of teams’ historical data on tire performance at this circuit.

The Jerez circuit features a range of different corner types but the biggest demands on the tires come under traction at the rear. The absence of long straights on this track means the tires are constantly working throughout each lap.

Overtaking can be difficult on the twisty Jerez layout, so tire strategy could be crucial in the Formula 2 feature race as a way of making up positions.

The Race and the Rules:

Formula 2

Every car will have five sets of Pirelli dry tires and three sets of Pirelli wet weather tires available for the Formula 2 race weekend. The five sets of dry tires comprise of three sets of the medium tire compound and two sets of the soft tire compound.

The drivers can use their tire allocation in any way they like, but at least one set of each tire compound must be used in the feature race (unless it is a wet race). One set of the harder tire compound must be returned after free practice.

Qualifying takes place at 15:30 on Friday, after practice at 11:00. The feature race on Saturday at 14:00 lasts 39 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 14:00 is determined by the finishing order of the first race, with the top eight positions reversed. It is run over 28 laps, with no compulsory pit stops.

GP3

Every car will have three sets of Pirelli dry tires and two sets of Pirelli wet weather tires available for the GP3 race weekend. Only one tire compound is nominated: the Pirelli hard tire 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 soft tire compound from Monza, Italy.

Qualifying takes place at 14:00 on Saturday after a single free practice session on Friday at 10:00. Race 1 starts at 11:00 on Saturday and lasts for 23 laps, followed by Race Two at 11:00 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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