Pirelli and GP2 together for the first time in Hockenheim
After a rain-hit Britain, the GP2 drivers will finally get the chance to take advantage of some new tyre regulations introduced to the championship earlier this month: provided that conditions remain dry enough in Hockenheim to make use of them.
For Hockenheim, round eight of the GP2 Series, the P Zero White medium tyres and P Zero Yellow soft tyres have been nominated – just as is the case in Formula One, although the GP2 tyres have a different compound and construction.
Up to now, the rules have only given GP2 drivers three sets of the harder nominated compound and one set of the softer compound for the weekend. Now, they will have an extra set of the softer compound too (provided they return one set of the harder compound after free practice), which means that they can test the tyre during practice rather than just saving it for qualifying.
The GP2 Series have not visited Hockenheim since 2010. This is the first time though that Pirelli will equip GP2 at Hockenheim.
The German circuit is not especially aggressive on tyres and the most important thing is to have compounds that are adaptable to a wide range of conditions, especially given the fact that weather conditions in the local area can be changeable at this time of year.
There is not expected to be a very large variation in performance between the two compounds under equal conditions, so it will be vital for the teams to understand fully the performance and degradation data to plan an effective strategy. The extra set of soft tyres should give them the additional running to capture all the information they need.
During the first GP2 race, the cars have to make one compulsory pit stop to change at least two wheels, whereas in race two the strategy is now open (previously pit stops in race two were not allowed).
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola said: “Hockenheim will be a new experience for us with GP2 and we need to keep an open mind as to what to expect, particularly in terms of weather conditions. The German circuit does not make any particular demands on the compound and structure in a specific area, but instead there are quite a wide range of different parameters that are tested. Traction is certainly a key issue, because of all the slow to medium speed corners, but the tyres also have to withstand sustained high speed on the long straights and heavy braking. After the weather in Silverstone meant that the GP2 drivers were not able to take advantage of the new tyre regulations, it will be very interesting to see what they can do in Germany.”
Pirelli Press Release