Tyres prove crucial as GP2 Series draw to a close
Round 11 Pirelli Round Up
The Italian Grand Prix was the venue for the penultimate round of the GP2 Series. For the fastest race of the year, the GP2 drivers had the P Zero Silver hard and P Zero Yellow soft tyres at their disposal. There is generally low tyre degradation at Monza, but certain places such as the famous Parabolica put plenty of energy through the front tyres in particular, and high temperatures throughout the weekend also placed additional stress on the P Zero rubber.
Saturday’s 30-lap feature race was sensationally won by Italian driver Luca Filippi, returning to competition with Coloni after a 12-month absence. Filippi qualified second on the grid behind Carlin’s Max Chilton.
Chilton started on used soft tyres, whereas Filippi opted for new hards. Filippi stopped on lap eight to change to used hards on the rear only, with Chilton stopping five laps later for a set of new hards. He came out just ahead of Filippi, but the Italian overtook him into the Ascari chicane. Addax driver Johnny Cecotto tried a different strategy, changing from new softs to new hards on lap 13 after saving his tyres in qualifying. He eventually finished in second, having started from eighth on the grid following a penalty.
There were no pit stops during the second race on Sunday, which was won by Caterham’s Davide Valsecchi, who extended his championship lead heading into the final round. With just one set of P Zero hard tyres for the 21-lap race, drivers had to look after their tyres to avoid them going off, which led to plenty of overtaking in the closing stages.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola commented: “We enjoyed an action-packed weekend in Italy. I’d like to congratulate Luca Filippi on a fantastic GP2 win on Saturday, which was made all the more special as he has been out of a car for so long. We saw some good tactics from Johnny Cecotto as well, who saved tyres in qualifying in order to have new sets for the race and made up six places. On Sunday, Davide Valsecchi typically looked after his tyres perfectly to win from third on the grid. This important skill is one of the reasons why he now has a good lead of the championship going into the final round.”
Pirelli Press Release