A brilliant tyre strategy allowed Carlin driver Will Buller to take a dramatic win from last place on the grid at the second GP3 race in Silverstone: round four of the series, which was run alongside round seven of the GP2 Series.
On a drying circuit, Buller started from last on Sunday morning, having crashed out on the opening lap of Saturday’s race one. Although conditions were slippery at first, Buller worked his way up to the lead by lap 10, as he took advantage of the superior grip offered by the P Zero hard tyres he chose while most of his rivals started on wets. Lotus driver Conor Daly was second, also on slicks, while Patric Neiderhauser was on the podium for Jenzer, having run on wet tyres for the whole race. Adding to the variety of strategies in play, Marussia Manor Racing driver Tio Ellinas in fourth was the first of the drivers who chose to pit for slicks during the race.
Silverstone was characterised by wet weather throughout the GP3 race weekend, which made grip levels extremely variable.
The first GP3 race that followed it on Saturday was the first race of the weekend to be held in completely dry conditions, with the drivers using the hard compound tyre nominated for Britain. Carlin driver Antonio Felix da Costa claimed his second victory of the year after starting third on the grid. There was still plenty of water just off the racing line, but the Portuguese driver still found enough grip to take the lead by the end of the first lap.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola commented: “In the mixed conditions that we saw, having the right tyre is essential, and this was proved by Buller’s brilliant drive from the back in the second GP3 race, when he was able to make the most of the slick tyres. Although the track never fully dried out over the whole weekend, our GP3 slick tyres managed to provide grip even when it was wet.
Pirelli Press Release