Russell confident ahead of 2017 GP3 Series season opener
George Russell is looking forward to the opening round of the 2017 GP3 Series with plenty of confidence, following a very strong pre-season testing programme that saw him feature at the top of the timesheets on a regular basis - alongside completing all their programmes and amassing plenty of data of the Pirelli tyres and Drag Reduction System (DRS).
The Spanish Grand Prix weekend will stage the opening round of this year’s GP3 Series, which enters its eighth season. Pirelli has been the exclusive tyre supplier since the beginning of the series in 2010, and provides the P Zero Orange hard tyre this weekend. Both series have tested at Barcelona this year, so the teams and drivers should have plenty of relevant data to rely on.
The Barcelona circuit has many fast corners that put large forces through the tyres. Turn three, a long right-hander through which drivers are constantly accelerating, takes the most life out of the tyres, particularly the front-left.
Adding to the demanding nature of the track is a very abrasive surface, which leads to higher rates of wear and degradation.
With the Spanish summer approaching, temperatures during the race weekend can be quite warm, particularly compared to when the Formula 2 teams tested at Barcelona in mid-March.
Every car will have three sets of dry tyres and two sets of wet weather tyres available for the GP3 race weekend. Only one compound is nominated: hard for this weekend. The drivers can use the tyre allocation in any way they like.
Drivers are normally allowed to carry over one tyre set from the previous round for use in free practice only. As Spain is the opening race, there will be an extra set of hard tyres, so four in total.
Pirelli's racing manager Mario Isola: "Barcelona marks the debut for a new construction of rear tyre in GP3, which is designed to push the balance of the car more towards oversteer. This means that it presents more of a challenge for the drivers and also brings the characteristics of the tyre, with deliberate degradation, even closer to Formula 2: the next step on the ladder. As a result, we’re looking forward to some close racing with the latest crop of talented young drivers."