PIRELLI TYRES RESIST HIGH TRACK TEMPERATURES AND A CHALLENGING TRACK IN FORMULA 2 AND FORMULA 3
There was plenty of action and overtaking at Paul Ricard: round five of Formula 2 and round two of Formula 3. Formula 2 had Pirelli P Zero hard and soft tyres in France, while Formula 3 ran only the medium tyre.
Feature Race, the winner: ART’s Nyck De Vries took the 30-lap Feature Race win from P4 on the grid, having started on the soft tyre. There was an early red flag that interrupted the race; after it re-started de Vries soon made his stop for the hard tyre and emerged behind Campos Racing’s Jack Aitken, who had already pitted a lap earlier on the same strategy. De Vries got past to take the lead again and eventually win by 8.3 seconds from polesitter Sergio Sette Camara (DAMS).
Nyck de Vries: “We put a lot of effort into getting on top of our starts: luckily it worked today. I think from then on we stayed cool and did our job. We had another red flag and a couple of virtual safety cars so there was quite a lot to manage.”
Feature Race, alternative strategy: Uni Virtuosi’s Luca Ghiotto was on the opposite strategy to De Vries, starting on the hard tyre from 14th before switching to soft. He led the race after those who had started on the soft tyres pitted before him, but he was unable to build up a large enough gap. Contact with another competitor put Ghiotto out of the race, meaning that the highest-placed finisher to start on the hard tyre was Jordan King, who went from 16th on the grid to seventh after stopping last.
Sprint Race, the winner: Arden’s Anthoine Hubert took a home win on Sunday, with all the cars starting on the hard tyre and no pit stops. Again, the rubber was worked hard in warm track temperatures, with plenty of overtaking. De Vries finished the race out of the points but maintains the championship lead he captured on Saturday.
Race 1, the winner: Prema driver Jehan Daruvala made it back-to-back wins from second on the grid after claiming the previous round in Spain. Looking after his tyres well in track temperatures of nearly 50 degrees was key to his win, sealed with a three-second margin despite a less than perfect start.
Race 2, the winner: Prema’s Robert Shwartzman took his second victory of the year despite starting seventh in an action-packed 20-lap race with plenty of overtaking. Managing the tyres was a priority, with no pit stops or safety cars. Daruvala fought for the win, before settling for third behind Trident’s Pedro Piquet.
Mario Isola, Pirelli head of F1 and car racing: “For the second time this year we had Formula 2 and Formula 3 together alongside Formula 1, and it proved to be an extremely demanding weekend for the drivers in both categories. Controlling degradation on the soft tyre in Formula 2 and medium tyre in Formula 3 was essential, given the very warm track temperatures and variable. Sunday’s Formula 2 Sprint Race, with no pit stops, was a particular challenge. Nonetheless, the tyres coped well with the tough conditions. The nomination of hard and soft in Formula 2 was a successful one, but provided the engineers and drivers with an extra dimension to think about, as there was a big difference between these two compounds.”