F2 AT SPA WITH MEDIUM AND SOFT 18-INCH TYRES, F3 WITH MEDIUM
The FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 championships continue to race alongside Formula 1 through the next three weekends, beginning at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
Now entering its second half, the Formula 2 season has been closely-fought in the first year of the new 18-inch tyres, with nine different race winners from the 12 races held so far. In Formula 3 (where 13-inch tyres continue to be used) the championship is moving into the final stretch with just three rounds remaining.
• Spa is a demanding circuit for drivers and tyres alike, with different forces created by the various types of corner around the circuit. There are high lateral loads in fast corners such as Pouhon, significant vertical loads in elevation changes like at Eau Rouge, as well as large braking and traction forces in and out of slower corners such as the chicane that ends the lap.
• At Spa, car setup is always a compromise between achieving top speeds on the straights and generating downforce through the corners. Anybody favouring a low-downforce setup is more reliant on the tyres to provide mechanical grip in the twisty middle sector.
• The weather is famously fickle at Spa, with conditions that can change in an instant. Rain can often fall in some parts of the circuit and not others, making it difficult to judge which tyre is the best to be on at which time.
The tyres and strategy
• The P Zero Yellow medium and P Zero Red soft tyres have been nominated in Formula 2 for Spa. This combination was previously seen in Hungary earlier this season. It is the same nomination used at Spa 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 medium and two soft. 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 Spa, the medium tyre is nominated for the third time this season. This is the same nomination used at the circuit in 2019.
• F3 drivers get three sets of the medium tyres at the start of each weekend, plus one carry-over set from the previous round (which must be returned after free practice), which this weekend will be the hard compound from Barcelona. There are two sets of wet-weather tyres available as well.
Remembering Anthoine Hubert
The Formula 2 and Formula 3 weekend at Spa in 2019 was overshadowed by the tragic death of Anthoine Hubert following an accident in the first F2 race. Hubert was a hugely promising and respected driver who won the GP3 Series in 2018, before it became F3. His loss was felt deeply in the motorsport community and he will be in the memory of those at Spa this weekend.
Mario Isola, Pirelli head of car racing: “Spa is always a challenging circuit for the drivers and the demands for the tyres are also high. As usual at Spa, the compounds nominated in both F2 and F3 are from the middle of the range and are likely to require some degree of management, but we usually see some exciting racing there in both championships and we’re looking forward to more of that this weekend. Of course, in Formula 2 especially, Anthoine Hubert will be at the forefront of everybody’s thoughts this weekend, with a number of tributes planned.”