Feature Race, the winner: Prema’s Charles Leclerc, part of the Ferrari Driver Academy, claimed another victory in the first F2 race of the weekend. Along with the other leading drivers, he started the race on the P Zero Yellow soft tyres and switched to the P Zero Orange hard tyres. After pulling out a lead of over six seconds, he managed to extend his first stint to the end of lap seven – one lap later than the chasing Norman Nato (Arden) and Oliver Rowland (DAMS).
Charles Leclerc: “I managed to build a bit of a gap. We were quite fast on the option tyres. We built a good gap and then on the prime tyres after our stop, we were quite fast too. I think in the beginning I took a bit my time to get back up to speed because we knew there would be some graining if I was pushing straight away. When Norman reduced the gap to me, I started to push again and the car was very good all the way to the flag.”
Feature Race, alternative strategy: ART Grand Prix’s Nobuharu Matsushita was the lead driver to try an alternative strategy of starting on the hard tyres. He ran fifth early on, then took the lead when others pitted, but this strategy proved to be second-best and he finished in 10th place.
Sprint Race, the winner: The winner of the Sprint Race, with the entire field running on the P Zero Orange hard (and no obligatory pit stops) was DAMS driver Nicolas Latifi, from pole. Tyre management was still important over the 21 laps, with the left-front tyre having the most work to do.
Feature Race, the winner: Mercedes development driver George Russell took victory on home ground in a closely-fought first race. His ART Grand Prix team-mate Anthoine Hubert took the lead at the start but Russell fought back and then opened a small advantage at the front of the field, making his P Zero Orange hard tyres last until the end on a circuit that places large demands on the tyres.
Sprint Race, the winner: Giuliano Alesi won Sunday’s race from what was effectively pole position as Damien Bocolacci was unable to take the start. The race was held in very cool conditions starting at 08.00, challenging the thermal capabilities of the hard tyre. A two-lap safety car period from lap four also affected tyre management.
Pirelli’s head of car racing Mario Isola: “In Formula 2 this weekend we saw that one strategy – starting on the soft tyre with a short initial stint – was clearly the best, and most the teams and drivers calculated this. These drivers on the same strategy could race each other closely until the end. It was a similar story in GP3: the drivers were required to use the hard tyre, chosen to cope with the high demands of Silverstone, but could enjoy some close battles, and the DRS system worked well to produce great overtaking opportunities.”
Formula 2 and GP3 will head next to the Hungaroring in Hungary on July 29-30.
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