HOT RACING IN FORMULA 2 AND GP3 – WHERE PIQUET CLAIMS HIS FIRST WIN
Unusually high temperatures added to the demands at Silverstone, where the high-speed layout works the tyres hard. Nonetheless, the drivers in Formula 2 and GP3 were able to race each other strongly – and Pedro Piquet, son of three-time world champion Nelson Piquet, took his first win.
Feature Race, the winner: Alex Albon started from second place on the soft tyre before pitting to change to the hard compound, where he was able to pass George Russell (who was on the same strategy but suffered a slow pit-stop). Albon was then able to manage his tyres and his advantage over Russell for the rest of the race. The soft-hard strategy was adopted by nearly all the cars on the grid.
Alex Albon: “I think George and I were the only guys in free practice to do a long run and already by then, I knew that the tyres were going to be quite good. I heard other people talking about high degradation, but I think I knew it wouldn’t be that bad. So with that information, I drove – pushing, but not killing the tyres, so I could relax.”
Feature Race, alternative strategy: Tadasuke Makino (Russian Time) and Ralph Boschung (MP Motorsport) were the only two drivers to start the race on the hard tyres. They were both able to use the grip from their fresher, faster tyres at the end of the race to overtake others, with Boschung finishing up ninth.
Sprint Race, the winner: Maximilian Gunther won by just half a second over Russell, who worked his way up from seventh on the grid. With all drivers on the hard tyre and no pit stops, Gunther controlled the lead well to take his maiden win.
Feature Race, the winner: Anthoine Hubert won from pole position, managing his tyres well to pull away from ART Grand Prix team-mates Nikita Mazepin and Callum Ilott late in the race. Ilott had the pace to set the fastest lap on lap 15 of 20 to gain two bonus points, but conceded the championship lead back to Hubert.
Sprint Race, the winner: Pedro Piquet, son of three-time Formula 1 champion Nelson, claimed his first victory in GP3. He got a quicker start than Trident team-mate Giuliano Alesi to take the lead and won by 1.4 seconds, after preserving his tyre performance well.
Pirelli’s head of car racing Mario Isola: “With the unusual heat and expected high speeds of Silverstone, coupled with a new asphalt surface, there were some very big demands placed on the tyres this weekend. Despite this, they performed exactly as expected. The difference in performance and degradation between the soft and the hard tyres in Formula 2, led most drivers towards the same strategy. Together with the appropriate tyre management, this resulted in another exciting weekend.”