Pirelli is engaged at the highest level of world motorsport this year, supplying the Formula One World Championship along with the GP2 and GP3 Series, which are highly competitive one-make single-seater series that run during the same race weekends as the European grands prix.
Following the requests of the GP2 and GP3 Series organizers, Pirelli has specifically designed tires capable of higher performance with less durability, starting from this year. The compound specifications have been significantly improved compared to 2010, when Pirelli was the sole tire supplier to the GP3 Series. These new features are intended to not only spice up the on-track action, but also to help drivers learn how to look after their rubber by driving smoothly: a skill that will be vital for their future careers.
These young drivers have had a taste of the new P Zero rubber during the recently concluded pre-season tests, with the Italian tires performing faultlessly in a wide range of weather and track conditions.
“Our new Pirelli tires are absolutely ready for GP2 and GP3 competition, and so we’ve collected some very positive impressions from drivers and teams during testing and racing,” Pirelli’s Motorsport Director, Paul Hembery said. “Just like Formula One, the GP2 and GP3 organizers specifically asked Pirelli to design tires with variable durability, because tire management is crucial for any driver’s career and it also adds an extra element of intrigue to the racing. In a one-make single-seater series with identical cars and set ups, it’s the driver that makes the difference. I believe that the features we have built into our new Pirelli tires will really highlight young talent and help all these up and coming drivers to improve their racing skills.”
At Istanbul, Pirelli will equip both GP2 and GP3 with its medium compound rubber because of the extremely versatile features of this tire, as Pirelli’s Racing Manager Mario Isola explained: “The Istanbul Park circuit is quite a complicated track because of its medium abrasive surface and several challenging turns that put a lot of pressure on the tires. Specifically, the front right tire absorbs most of the stress that the track provides: especially in the well-known Turn Eight, which is a fast and sweeping corner with four apexes. We decided to equip both GP3 and GP2 drivers with our medium slicks because Istanbul is a very demanding circuit that has a stronger impact on the tire structure than on the compound.”
The Istanbul Park circuit is a 5.338 kilometer long track, with an average width of 15 meters, ranging from 14.5 to 21 meters. The circuit has a total of 14 corners and runs over four different elevations with a start/finish straight over 650 meters. The undulating track is also known for its quite bumpy surface.