The 2011 GP3 Series season gets underway with pre-season testing on 3rd March, with tyre supplier Pirelli ready for the second year of the feeder category.

Pirelli supported the inaugural GP3 season in 2010, with its 13-inch PZero control tyres designed specifically for the series.

The 2011 GP3 Series season will consist of eight rounds, supporting Formula 1 races in Europe. Prior to the start of the season, eight days of official testing will be held at three circuits. Testing gets underway at Paul Ricard in France on 3-4 March, followed by Silverstone on 28-31 March and Barcelona on 11-14 March. Two midseason tests will also be held, the first to be held at Valencia in June.

During 2011, Pirelli will supply over 10,000 tyres to the GP3 teams. Just like in 2010, three dry tyre compounds (soft, medium and hard) and one wet tyre compound will be used. Together with series organisers, Pirelli will choose in advance the dry compound that will be brought to each round for the teams to use. Three sets of slicks will be allocated to each car at each event, in addition to two sets of wet tyres if necessary.

The soft compound tyres will be used at the tests at Paul Ricard and Valencia, with the hard tyre being tested at Silverstone and Barcelona. These choices are based upon the characteristics of the respective circuits.

Following a request from GP3 Series organisers, Pirelli will bring a slightly different compound of tyres to the races compared to last season.

Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery explained: “For Pirelli, 2010 has not only been a season of action-packed GP3 racing but also a year of intense testing to further develop its GP3 racing tyres. Test after test, round after round, more data and feedback has been collected and the tyres have been adjusted accordingly. As tyres are a vital tool that young drivers need to learn to manage in their future careers, a degree of artificial degradation has been added to the rubber. Having tyres capable of higher performance with less durability should certainly spice up the on-track action, ensuring even more spectacular and closely fought race weekends. We now look forward to the pre-season tests to see how GP3 drivers will handle their new tyres.”