The 2013 GP3 Series season opened this month in Barcelona and introduced the Series’ second generation car. Following Round 1 and after analysing together with our partner Pirelli how the race weekend unfolded, it has been decided to readjust the tyre compounds for the upcoming rounds. This decision was taken in order to help put in light the drivers’ skills and allow them to race more combatively, but at the same time keep in line with the philosophy of the Series: starting to develop young drivers’ sensitivity to tyre management for the next steps.
Last winter, the development programme with Pirelli aimed at defining several options for the GP3 tyres. In light of the results from Barcelona, it emerged that the tyre selection was slightly too aggressive for combative racing. Thanks to the development work which took place over winter between GP3 and Pirelli, the compound adjustment to a harder range for each event (including a Super Hard tyre where a Hard compound was going to be used) was easy to put in place and will be seen from next month in Valencia for the second round of the season.
GP3 Series CEO Bruno Michel commented: “We are very pleased with how Pirelli work and react to any given situation. The GP3/13 is a new car – one that’s proven to be reliable and competitive. GP3 races have always showcased drivers giving maximum attack whilst starting to learn how to manage the tyre degradation. After Barcelona, we analysed that we had to fine-tune our compound selection to a harder range in order to keep that balance intact. Pirelli have been quick to adapt to the situation in terms of production too.”
Pirelli’s Racing Manager Mario Isola said: “Following the first two races we analysed the data and together with the Series organizers we have decided to revise some of the initial choices, which turned out to be slightly too performance-orientated, considering some of the greatly increased forces that the brand new GP3 car is putting on the tyres. In pre-season testing the teams had the opportunity to run the new car on our new tyres, but due to the temperatures at that time of year, the track conditions were not completely representative and the full potential of the car-tyre package could not be exploited. Now that we are four to five seconds per lap quicker than last year, and with a good amount of representative data from Barcelona, we have decided to make more use of the harder compounds for the GP3 races so that the drivers can push their cars closer to the limit but still learn about tyre management.”