Along with a brand-new Formula 2 car revealed in Pirelli’s fitting area at Monza there were some completely new P Zero tyres to go with it.
With the new car having been completely redesigned from the ground up to take into account the latest measures introduced into Formula 1 – including innovations such as the halo device – the tyres have also been redesigned to reflect the latest moves at the top of the sport, while continuing to provide the Formula 2 drivers of the future with a valuable learning experience.
The biggest change compared to previous years is the adoption of a turbocharged engine for Formula 2. This completely alters the vehicle dynamics at a fundamental level, especially the torque curve. Just as was the case when Formula 1 returned to turbocharging three years ago – albeit with some complex hybrid systems that are not included in the 2018 Formula 2 car, to keep costs under control – Pirelli has designed a specific tyre to complement these new engine characteristics, which carry an increased risk of wheelspin, for example, as well as more energy deployed through the tyre in short bursts.
While in this respect, the 2018 Formula 2 tyre will be more resistant than its predecessor, it still hasn’t lost its fundamental philosophy of deliberate degradation: which has played such an important part in teaching young drivers about tyre management, as well as contributing to the show through close racing and the possibility to use many different types of strategy in the feature race.
So, while the new 2018 Formula 2 chassis will look more similar to a Formula 1 car than ever before, the tyres will still be quite different in character. Unlike in Formula 1, tyre blankets are banned in Formula 2, which results in a tyre with very different characteristics. Warming up the tyres effectively and keeping them within the right operating window is an essential part of a driver’s skill – particularly in the high-pressure environment before a race start – and this will continue to be a valuable lesson learned from Formula 2.
Testing of the new car will continue throughout the autumn and winter, so the exact final specification of the new Formula 2 tyre isn’t yet completely defined, with a number of tweaks in the pipeline before the first cars are delivered to customers in January. Thanks to input from experienced test drivers and Pirelli’s own engineers, the end result will be a tyre that is perfectly tailored to the new car: exactly the same approach that Pirelli adopts when it comes to making ultra high performance P Zero tyres for the world’s most exclusive road cars.
Here is a recap of the tyre strategies during last week’s Feature Race in Monza.
Fuoco – Wet (new) 18 laps // Wet (new) 5 laps
Matsushita – Wet (new) 16 laps // Wet (new) 7 laps
Latifi – Wet (new) 16 laps // Wet (new) 7 laps
Ghiotto – Wet (new) 18 laps // Wet (new) 5 laps
Albon – Wet (new) 13 laps // Wet (new) 10 laps
Gelael – Wet (new) 19 laps // Wet (new) 4 laps
Sette Camara – Wet (new) 14 laps // Wet (new) 9 laps
Delétraz – Wet (new) 16 laps // Wet (new) 7 laps
Malja – Wet (new) 15 laps // Wet (new) 8 laps
Markelov – Wet (new) 6 laps // Wet (new) 17 laps
King – Wet (new) 19 laps // Wet (new) 4 laps
Merhi – Wet (new) 14 laps // Wet (new) 9 laps
Jeffri – Wet (new) 16 laps // Wet (new) 7 laps
Nato – Wet (new) 17 laps // Wet (new) 6 laps
Boschung – Wet (new) 5 laps // Wet (used) 12 laps // Wet (new) 6 laps
Visoiu – Wet (new) 18 laps // Wet (new) 5 laps
Leclerc – Wet (new) 17 laps // Wet (new) 6 laps
De Vries – Wet (new) 18 laps // Wet (new) 5 laps
Rowland – Wet (new) 18 laps // Wet (new) 1 laps
Ferrucci – DNS