Pirelli wet tyres in action in Silverstone
Silverstone was characterised by wet weather throughout the GP2 Series race weekend, which made grip levels extremely variable. Britain marked the debut of some new tyre regulations for GP2, allowing them an extra set of the softer compound slicks at each race, but the drivers did not get the chance to make the most of them because of the extreme conditions.
The qualifying session was interrupted by several red flags, and the first GP2 race on Saturday got underway behind the safety car. Tyre strategy was again key, with pole-sitter Fabio Leimer (Racing Engineering) not taking advantage of the safety car period to make his compulsory pit stop and subsequently losing the lead, whereas race winner Esteban Gutiérrez was among the first to pit, using Pirelli’s wet pattern tyres throughout the race.
The GP2 drivers got their first taste of slick tyres in Sunday morning’s sprint race, with the majority of drivers selecting the P Zero White medium, which had been nominated along with the soft tyres. Although conditions were mainly dry, there was still some rain, making the battle between title rivals Luiz Razia (Arden) and Davide Valsecchi (DAMS) even more intense. Razia, who started from fourth on the grid, won the race thanks to some brilliant overtaking moves despite the challenging surface conditions.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola commented: “In the mixed conditions that we saw, having the right tyre is essential. Although the track never fully dried out over the whole weekend, our GP2 slick tyres managed to provide grip even when it was wet – with the harder compound proving particularly effective in the second race on Sunday.
It was a pity that the GP2 drivers did not get the chance to make the most of the latest tyre regulations because of the weather, but under these challenging circumstances the tyre strategy becomes even more important, providing the key to victory in the first GP2 race on Saturday.”
Pirelli Press Release