SOFTEST TYRES FOR FORMULA 2 AND GP3 AT THE RED BULL RING
The Red Bull Ring in Austria hosts the next rounds of the FIA Formula 2 Championship and the GP3 Series, with the young drivers again hoping to impress on the road to Formula 1.
• With the focus on long straights and slow corners, the forces from braking and acceleration are more significant than the lateral demands at the Red Bull Ring.
• Two consecutive corners in the middle sector – the only two left-handers on the circuit – provide the biggest lateral demands. The loaded tyres come into these corners cold, as otherwise they are not particularly stressed around the lap.
• The track’s location in the Styrian mountains means that the weather can be variable, with rain showers a common feature.
The tyres and strategy
• The P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft tyres have been nominated for Formula 2: the two softest tyres in the range. This combination was previously nominated earlier this year in Monaco.
• In Formula 2, each driver has five sets of slick tyres to use over the weekend: three soft and two supersoft. They also have three sets of wet-weather tyres. During race one, where there is a mandatory pit stop, both compounds have to be used unless it is declared a wet race. Pit stops are optional in race two.
• Just one tyre is nominated for each GP3 round: in Austria it’s the soft. Drivers get three new sets of dry tyres plus one carry-over set of mediums from the Paul Ricard round, which must be returned after free practice. There are two sets of wet-weather tyres as well.
Mario Isola, Pirelli head of car racing: “There aren’t many corners at the Red Bull Ring and it’s a short lap – but this means that everything has to be exactly right over the course of the lap, the margins are very small, and that traffic can be an issue. The track surface is reasonably new and smooth, so not a lot of energy is taken out of the tyres. This enables us to nominate the softest compounds in the range, but drivers still have to take care not to over-drive them.”