DIFFERENT 18-INCH TYRE COMPOUNDS FOR FORMULA 2 AT SILVERSTONE DOUBLE-HEADER
The FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 championships will join Formula 1 at Silverstone for two consecutive weekends for rounds four and five of the 2020 season.
As was the case when the season began with a double-header in Austria, there will be a difference in the tyre compounds nominated by Pirelli for Formula 2 from one weekend to the next. This promises to continue the exciting and unpredictable start to the season: the first for F2 with the new 18-inch tyres.
• Silverstone is one of the most demanding circuits for the tyres due to the high lateral loads generated by the many fast corners. The famous Maggots, Becketts and Chapel sequence of corners is particularly notable for having several high-speed changes of direction in quick succession.
• The circuit was resurfaced ahead of last year’s British Grand Prix weekend, eliminating bumps and helping to make a lap even faster.
• The weather in England is hard to predict, even at the height of summer. A combination of sunshine and rain showers can be common, not just across a weekend but often within a single day.
The tyres and strategy
• The P Zero White hard and P Zero Yellow medium tyres have been nominated for the first F2 round at Silverstone, with the hard joined by the P Zero Red soft compound for the second weekend. Hard and soft is the same nomination used for Silverstone in 2019, but now in the new 18-inch size rather than 13 inches, and with brand new compounds.
• In F2, each driver has five sets of slick tyres to use over the weekend: three of the harder nominated tyre and two of the softer nominated tyre. 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.
• One slick tyre is nominated for each F3 round: At Silverstone, the hard tyre is nominated for both back-to-back events. This is the same nomination as in 2019, intended to handle the high demands of Silverstone over a full race without pit stops.
• F3 drivers will get four new sets of the hard tyres at the start of each weekend (there is no carry-over set this weekend from the previous round, as the hard is the only suitable tyre at Silverstone). There are two sets of wet-weather tyres available as well.
What happened last year?
Luca Ghiotto took victory in the F2 feature race following an exciting wheel-to-wheel battle with Nicholas Latifi, now racing in Formula 1 with Williams. Both started on the soft tyre before switching to the hard: Ghiotto pitting one lap later left him exposed to Latifi on cold tyres, but he was able to fight back a couple of laps later. Jack Aitken won the sprint race at his home circuit using the hard tyres. In F3, Juri Vips and Leonardo Pulcini made it a double win for the Silverstone-based Hitech GP team.
Mario Isola, Pirelli head of F1 and car racing: “It’s been a very interesting start to the season in Formula 2 and Formula 3, especially thanks to the performance of the new 18-inch tyres in F2 and the impact they have had on strategy. Moving onto another double-header, we have again looked to mix up the tyre nominations for each weekend in F2 to add an extra element of unpredictability. Due to the well-known severity of the Silverstone circuit, it’s not been possible to go any softer for F3, so we have the hard tyre for both weekends. For the same reason, we have to keep the hard choice during both weekends for F2, but we do have some flexibility with the softer tyre – moving from medium at the first race to soft at the second race. This presents a different challenge for the drivers in terms of lap preparation and higher ultimate performance.”