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Sep 02, 2014 - 03:21 PM
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Italy GP2 and GP3 Preview
Posted by: newsla on Sep 02, 2014 - 03:18 PM
GP2 News
Italy GP2 and GP3 Preview


The GP2 and GP3 nominations for Monza this weekend, close to the home of Pirelli, are the same as those made for Spa two weeks ago: P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium. The GP3 Series also receives exactly the same nomination as Spa: Pirelli’s medium compound.

 

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Although the two circuits are very different, they have some points in common: high-energy demands on the tyres caused by fast corners, long straights and heavy braking. These can cause the tyres to heat up close to their maximum operating temperatures, particularly if ambient conditions are hot as well, which is often the case in Italy.

As a result, the two hardest tyres in the range have been chosen for GP2. For GP3, the wide-ranging capabilities of the medium compound are enough to cover the wide range of demands that Monza imposes on the tyres.

The Italian circuit is set to host some of the fastest races of the year, both in GP2 and GP3. This is also down to low levels of downforce, with the set-up designed to enhance maximum speed on the straights. Because of this, the cars rely on mechanical grip from the tyres to negotiate the corners. Finding the right compromise in the set-up at Monza, with the correct amount of downforce to be quick through both the corners and the straights, is the key to success at the legendary ‘temple of speed’.

Pirelli’s racing manager says:

Mario Isola: “As the GP2 and GP3 Series begin to draw to a close this year, the competition becomes even closer, with tyre strategy and management able to make a crucial difference. We’ve gone for the same nomination as Spa, as these circuits place some of the biggest demands on tyres that we see all year in GP2 and GP3. Despite this, the medium tyre in GP3 is still more than capable of absorbing all the forces placed on it throughout the race weekend – even though the tyre allocation is much smaller than that of both Formula One and GP2. We expect strategy to play the same key role as it has always done this year in GP2, with the teams using pit stop tactics to boost track position: especially if they have qualified further down the grid than expected. Ambient temperatures should be more stable in Italy than in Belgium, but there is still the possibility of rain. Finally, we are proud to welcome everyone from both series to our home race, which is always a very important occasion for us.”

The challenge for the tyres:

The three areas that work the tyres hardest at Monza are the first chicane (characterised by heavy braking), the Variante Ascari (with rapid changes of direction) and the famous Parabolica: a long and open corner that generates big lateral forces.

Another key element of Monza is the kerbs. The drivers hit these extremely hard through the chicanes, with the tyre playing a key role in absorbing the impact. As a result of the low downforce set-up, wheels can also lock up under braking. This carries a risk of flat-spotting the tyres, which is particularly to be avoided in GP2 and GP3, with its limited tyre allocation.

The race and the rules:

GP2

Every car will have five sets of dry tyres and three sets of wet weather tyres available for the
GP2 race weekend. The five sets of dry tyres comprise three sets of the harder compound
(hard) and two sets of the softer compound (medium).

The drivers can use their tyre allocation in any way they like, but at least one set of each compound must be used in the feature race (unless it is a wet race). One set of the hard compound must be returned after free practice.

Qualifying takes place at 15:55 on Friday. Race One on Saturday is run at 15:40 over 30 laps and each driver must complete one compulsory pit stop. This cannot take place within the first six laps.

The grid for Race Two on Sunday at 10:35 is determined by the finishing order of the first race, with the top eight positions reversed. Race Two is run over 21 laps, with no compulsory pit stops.

GP3

Every car will have three sets of dry tyres and two sets of wet weather tyres available for the GP3 race weekend. Only one compound is nominated: medium for this weekend. The drivers can use the tyre allocation in any way they like. All the GP3 compounds carry yellow markings.

Drivers are allowed to carry over one tyre set from the previous round for use in free practice only. As the same compounds were used in Spa, this will be of particular advantage in Monza.

There is one practice session, one qualifying session and two races in GP3. Qualifying takes place at 09:45 on Saturday morning, after a single free practice session on Friday at 17:50. Race One starts at 17:20 on Saturday and lasts for 17 laps, followed by Race Two at 09:25 on Sunday (also 17 laps). The grid for Race Two is determined by the finishing order of the first race, with the top eight positions reversed.

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