British GP: Preview - Pirelli


There are two different tyre selections for the Silverstone double-header. The Pirelli-backed British Grand Prix this weekend will have the C1 compound as P Zero White hard, C2 as P Zero Yellow medium, and C3 as P Zero Red soft. The 70th Anniversary Grand Prix one week later will be one-step softer: so C2 as the hard, C3 as the medium and C4 as the soft. This creates Formula 1 history: the first time ever that there has been two different tyre nominations for a double-header at the same venue.

This choice has been made to add an element of unpredictability from one race to the next, with teams having to re-think their strategies for the second Silverstone weekend.

During the first half-hour of FP2 at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, all the teams will test unmarked 13-inch prototype slick tyres for next year, according to a run plan that will be defined by Pirelli. This will validate the development of tyres for 2021: the final season of 13-inch in F1.

Silverstone is the first race of the year where there will be a really severe test of the tyres, which is also why it's the first race of 2020 where the hardest C1 compound is seen. This is thanks to the high energy demands of long and fast corners such as the Maggots and Becketts complex, which load up the tyres with sustained g forces.

Silverstone has been resurfaced twice in the last two years. Compared to last year, the surface should now be a little more mature and less oily as the bitumen settles. Track roughness is about average compared to the other circuits seen on the calendar.

Mario Isola: "With two races at the same venue, on a track that the teams know well, it was important to try and inject an additional element for the second race, which is why we are going one step softer for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. The first nomination is what we had last year, which broadly speaking should create between one and two pit stops.

For the second race, depending on each driver's strategy, we could see mainly two stops. Gaining data on the C4, which will face an extremely big challenge at Silverstone, will be the key to the second race, while the teams will obviously already have plenty of information about the C2 and C3. Silverstone is characterised by big lateral loads that put plenty of energy through the tyres, so avoiding overheating and managing degradation will be especially important.

"Finally, our 2021 tyres will be validated in a half-hour test at Silverstone with all the teams, so there's plenty to focus on throughout these two weekends."

The British Grand Prix is the second Pirelli-sponsored race of the year after Austria, and there will be a third Pirelli-backed race this year too, at Mugello in Italy after Monza.

The 70th Anniversary Grand Prix celebrates 70 years of the Formula 1 World Championship, which was inaugurated at Silverstone in May 1950 and won by Alfa Romeo driver Giuseppe Farina - who went on to lift the first F1 title - on Pirelli tyres.

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Published: 27/07/2020
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