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Eifel GP: Preview - Pirelli

NEWS STORY
05/10/2020

Seven years after Formula 1 last raced at the Nurburgring in 2013, the legendary German venue is back for the Eifel Grand Prix. Pirelli will bring the three compounds right in the middle of its Formula 1 range: C2 as the P Zero White hard, C3 as the P Zero Yellow medium, and C4 as the P Zero Red soft.

It's been so long since the last race there that the Nurburgring can almost be considered as a new venue, with the latest generation of hybrid turbo F1 cars never having driven there. Nonetheless, teams and drivers probably have some idea of what to expect from the past (or from their experiences in other championships) - although the 2013 Nurburgring race was held in July. Consequently, the whole process of data collection during free practice on Friday will start from scratch, on a blank sheet of paper.

With a wide range of corners and no recent information about Formula 1 cars on this track at this time of year, Pirelli has opted to bring tyres that cover the middle ground, to deal with a wide variety of circumstances.

Previous experience has shown that the Nurburgring isn't particularly demanding on tyres: another reason for the tyre usage to be biased towards the soft end of the scale.

The weather is set to be the biggest talking point at this time of year, with rain quite likely and low temperatures also very possible. The recent Nurburgring 24 Hours was neutralised for more than nine hours as a result of torrential rain, so there's a strong chance of seeing the Cinturato wet-weather tyres at some point during the F1 weekend. The frequent rain in the Eifel region also means that the track surface is often 'green' and slippery, as any rubber that gets laid down is often washed away.

There are some quite aggressive kerbs on the chicanes (particularly at the NGK one) that encourage the drivers to take a clean line.

The Nurburgring is generally a balanced circuit, with a roughly equal mix of lateral and longitudinal forces acting on the car.

The hairpin Turn 7 is particularly tricky: there is a big deceleration heading into it and the front-left tyre has to do a lot of work to compensate for the unusual camber of the corner.

Cold weather below 10 degrees centigrade ambient can potentially cause 'cold cracks' in the tyres, which means that they need to be carefully looked after while being fitted in the fitting area and then stored by the teams.

The Eifel Grand Prix will be the first race weekend this year without Formula 2 or Formula 3. With fewer support races, less rubber is laid on the track: which has an effect on overall track evolution.

Mario Isola: "The Nurburgring is practically an all-new venue for us, so we'll be treating it as if we are coming there for the first time in Formula 1, although of course we remember it well and we have raced there many times in other championships. In order to ensure we have everything covered, we're bringing the three tyres in the middle of our range, which are also well-suited to the varied demands of this track. Probably the biggest factor will be the weather, with low temperatures and rain quite likely at this time of year. As a result, the teams might have to deal with some quite unusual circumstances, on a track that they aren't particularly familiar with. So this is a race that is likely to favour drivers and teams who are able to get to grips with new situations quickly. I think it's fair to say that we're set for a race with many variables, where we may even see all five types of tyre that we bring to the grand prix used over the course of the weekend."

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1. Posted by Tardis40, 06/10/2020 1:58

"Go to the Nordschleife"

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