The Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium has an awesome reputation, and complex conditions for both qualifying and racing in GP2 and GP3 underlined the extent of the challenge for the young drivers and their Pirelli tyres.
The challenge awaited the GP3 drivers, who had the P Zero White medium tyre only available for Spa. The drivers did not get the chance to run on them until qualifying on Saturday, following the washout of Friday. The feature race was halted after just four laps following an accident, with Lotus driver Daniel Abt winning from third place on the grid following an opportunistic move on the two leaders.
The sprint race on Sunday morning, once more run from start to finish on the medium tyre, was less dramatic, with Finnish driver Matias Laine taking his first win after a great start. The highlight of the race was an inspired drive to second by Carlin driver Antonio Felix da Costa to move into the championship runner-up spot with one round remaining, 21.5 points behind series leader Mitch Evans, who failed to score.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola commented: “This was one of the most challenging races that the GP2 and GP3 drivers faced all season, on account of the torrential rain during practice and qualifying, as well as the difficulty of the circuit – which accounts for the many incidents and accidents that characterised the weekend. The GP3 race was equally thrilling, with our tyres performing very well in both races despite no previous dry running in Belgium, and as a result we are set for a thrilling conclusion to the championship next weekend.”
The GP3 Series resumes alongside the Italian Grand Prix at Monza next week.
Pirelli Press Release