ERJ staff report (TP)
Milan, Italy – The Formula One season resumes after a three-week break for the Belgian Grand Prix this week, where Pirelli’s P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tires have been nominated.
The race comes to the Spa-Francorchamps on 24 August and Pirelli has chosen softer tires compared to last year – to promote different strategies.
At just over seven kilometres in length, Spa is the longest lap of the year, while its mixture of fast straights, flat-out corners, abrasive asphalt and swooping elevations put maximum strain on the tires.
Variable weather – with frequent heavy rainstorms – are also a common feature of this picturesque circuit, located in the Ardennes Mountains.
All of this can lead to a high incidence of safety cars, so the ability to react fast, as well as the insight to formulate an effective strategy, is vital.
Often it can be raining on one part of the circuit but completely dry at another part, meaning that the versatility of cars, tires and drivers is tested to the limit as well.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director, said: “Spa is one of the most epic circuits of the year [and] an adaptable tire is the key element, able to work equally well within the very wide range of track and weather conditions that we often see in Belgium.”
The winning strategy last year was a two-stopper, with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel completing two stints on the medium and a final stint on the hard tire (which were nominated in 2013) to claim victory from second on the grid.