By The1nsider 2 months ago


Jerez, which is these days better known for bike racing rather than cars, has a special place in Pirelli’s history – having been chosen as one of the venues to introduce a new era on two separate occasions.

The track last hosted a Formula 1 race back in 1997, although that was the European Grand Prix rather than the Spanish Grand Prix. The 1997 race is memorable for one reason only: Jacques Villeneuve winning the title with Williams, a year after arriving in Formula 1 from Indycar, following a controversial collision with Michael Schumacher at Dry Sack corner. It’s an evocative name, christened after one of the biggest producers of sherry in the town. Because Jerez is a sleepy place very much steeped in local tradition, where the most famous export dominates everything: even on the race track.

It was here that Pirelli did some of its testing in 2010, prior to entering Formula 1 the following year. The driver at the time was Romain Grosjean: now with the Haas team and GP2 champion in 2011. The Frenchman already had some Formula 1 experience and that was one of the reasons why he was chosen to pilot Pirelli’s Toyota TF109 test car, sampling numerous different compounds and structures over several days, as the Italian firm arrived at a definitive 2011 specification.

Jerez was chosen as a test venue for its year-round temperate climate and its wide variety of technical corners, which tested every aspect of tyre performance. The same is still true today, although one aspect has changed. Earlier this year, the entire track was resurfaced, ironing out all the bumps and making the surface much smoother. Previously, it was one of the most abrasive track surfaces in Europe: another reason that made it ideal for testing tyres.

In 2014, Jerez starred once more: as one of the pre-season testing venues for the teams to roll out the new-generation hybrid turbo V6 cars that we see today. Pirelli created a brand-new range of tyres specifically to suit them, but those early tests in Jerez were all about making the cars work rather than the tyres, as the teams framed up to the complexity of the new regulations.

Now history has been made yet again at Jerez, with Charles Leclerc crowned Formula 2 champion there. Formula 1 is where he wants to be: although he says that he hasn’t dared to think about it too much until now. But all the signs are that he is heading firmly in that direction, thanks also to the valuable lessons learned from F2 and its Pirelli tyres.

FIA F2 Feature Race Tyre Strategy

Here is a recap of the tyre strategies during last week’s Feature Race in Jerez.

Feature Race

Leclerc – Soft (new) 12 laps // Medium (new) 27 laps
Rowland – Soft (new) 12 laps // Medium (used) 27 laps
Fuoco – Medium (new) 22 laps // Soft (used) 17 laps
Latifi – Medium (new) 21 laps // Soft (used) 18 laps
Markelov – Soft (new) 10 laps // Medium (new) 29 laps
King – Medium (new) 24 laps // Soft (used) 4 laps // Soft (used) 11 laps
Ghiotto – Soft (new) 11 laps // Medium (new) 28 laps
Palou – Soft (new) 8 laps // Medium (new) 22 laps // Soft (used) 9 laps
Jeffri – Soft (new) 12 laps // Medium (new) 27 laps
Sette Câmara – Soft (new) 9 laps // Medium (new) 30 laps
Nato – Soft (new) 7 laps // Medium (new) 32 laps
Albon – Soft (new) 9 laps // Medium (new) 30 laps
De Vries – Soft (new) 9 laps // Medium (new) 30 laps
Malja – Medium (new) 21 laps // Soft (used) 18 laps
Binder – Soft (new) 9 laps // Medium (new) 30 laps
Gelael – Soft (new) 8 laps // Medium (new) 21 laps // Soft (used) 9 laps
Delétraz – Soft (new) 7 laps // Medium (new) 22 laps // Soft (used) 9 laps
Matsushita – Soft (new) 10 laps // Medium (new) 17 laps // Soft (used) 11 laps
Ferrucci – Medium (new) 20 laps // Soft (used) 11 laps
Boschung – Medium (new) 22 laps // Soft (used) 5 laps

Sprint Race

Markelov – Medium (new) 28 laps
Latifi – Medium (new) 28 laps
Rowland – Medium (new) 28 laps
Ghiotto – Medium (new) 18 laps // Soft (used) 10 laps
Fuoco – Medium (new) 12 laps // Soft (used) 16 laps
De Vries – Medium (new) 20 laps // Soft (used) 8 laps
Leclerc – Medium (new) 13 laps // Soft (used) 15 laps
Palou – Medium (new) 28 laps
Albon – Medium (new) 28 laps
Nato – Medium (new) 28 laps
Matsushita – Medium (new) 28 laps
Delétraz – Medium (new) 28 laps
Ferrucci – Medium (new) 12 laps // Soft (used) 16 laps
Sette Câmara – Medium (new) 16 laps // Soft (used) 12 laps
Jeffri – Medium (new) 28 laps
Gelael – Soft (new) 6 laps // Medium (new) 22 laps
Binder – Medium (new) 21 laps // Soft (used) 7 laps
Malja – Medium (new) 12 laps // Soft (used) 16 laps
Boschung – Medium (new) 28 laps
King – Medium (new) 3 laps

  Issue 10 F2
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