In addition to supplying the Formula 1 paddock with tyres this weekend for the Turkish Grand Prix, Pirelli will also supplying rubber for the new seasons of GP2 and GP3 which get underway at the Istanbul Park circuit.
The Italian firm were the sole tyre supplier for the inaugural GP3 Series season last year, and this year have partnered with the GP2 Series as a result of its Formula 1 return.
Just like in Formula 1, Pirelli have answered the requests of the GP2 and GP3 organisers to produce tyres capable of higher performance but with less durability. These changes are designed not only to help improve the racing, but also to help the young drivers to learn how to manage their tyres by driving smoothly – something which will help them in their future years.
The drivers have already had a taste of the new P Zero tyres during pre-season testing, where the rubber was tested in a variety of weather conditions.
“Our new Pirelli tyres are absolutely ready for GP2 and GP3 competition, and so we've collected some very positive impressions from drivers and teams during testing and racing,” said Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery.
“Just like Formula One, the GP2 and GP3 organisers specifically asked Pirelli to design tyres with variable durability, because tyre management is crucial for any driver's career and it also adds an extra element of intrigue to the racing.
“In a one-make single-seater series with identical cars and set ups, it's the driver that makes the difference. I believe that the features we have built into our new Pirelli tyres will really highlight young talent and help all these up and coming drivers to improve their racing skills.”
Both GP2 and GP3 will use Pirelli's medium compound tyre at Istanbul. Pirelli Racing Manager Mario Isola explained the challenge posed by the Turkish circuit.
“The Istanbul Park circuit is quite a complicated track because of its medium abrasive surface and several challenging turns that put a lot of pressure on the tyres. Specifically, the front right tyre absorbs most of the stress that the track provides, especially in the well-known Turn 8, which is a fast and sweeping corner with four apexes.
“We decided to equip both GP3 and GP2 drivers with our medium slicks because Istanbul is a very demanding circuit that has a stronger impact on the tyre structure than on the compound.”