PIRELLI SUPPLIES F2 STREET FIGHTERS WITH MEDIUM AND SUPERSOFT TYRES IN BAKU
Following the opening round of the season in Bahrain, the Formula 2 drivers next take to the Baku street circuit this weekend, which has quickly gained a reputation as one of the most exciting events in the series. It’s a street circuit that’s very different in character to the others, combining high speeds with some of the narrowest sections on the calendar.
The tyres and strategy
What happened last year?
Alexander Albon, now racing in Formula 1 for Toro Rosso, claimed his maiden Formula 2 win in the Baku feature race. He qualified on pole position and led the opening laps on the supersoft tyres, but a slow change to the medium tyres dropped him behind George Russell and Nyck de Vries, before capitalising on a clash between his rivals. Using a similar strategy, Jack Aitken came back from a problem on the grid to eventually finish second.
Russell won the sprint race from 12th on the grid, making his medium tyres last well to pass Sergio Sette Camara for the lead in the closing stages.
Mario Isola, Pirelli head of F1 and car racing:
“The big challenge is Baku is getting the balance right between the front and rear axles, in order to ensure that the tyres remain in the correct working window. That’s made more challenging by the fact that the long straights cool the tyres over the course of the lap, and also because the buildings that surround the track create patches of light and shade that affect track temperature. With the high frequency of safety cars, an adaptable approach is key. Overtaking is very possible, so we often see an exciting race where tyre strategy can make a key difference.”