Medium and Supersoft Compounds on Deck

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With a new circuit comes new challenges.

GP2 will make their first trip to Baku, Azerbaijan following a two-year track build alongside Formula One.

Pirelli has announced they’re supplying the P Zero White Medium and P Zero Red Supersoft compounds for this weekend. It marks the second time this year this combination has been used following their debut at Monaco earlier this year.

Teams will be critical of learning these tires, though, as they could play a role in deciding the series champion, as they will be used near the end of this year at Abu Dhabi.

Drivers will only have one practice session ahead of qualifying and race action this weekend. With Baku expected to be the fastest street circuit on the schedule with the longest straightaways of the calendar, learning the track quickly will be key.

It won’t be easy for teams, as combining a lack of speed with little grip could prove testing. Notably, the asphalt surface was only laid recently, including a section on top of previously cobbled streets. The slippery surface may make it a challenge to gain valuable information in practice, given how the track will continue to increase in grip as the weekend goes.

“It’s good to have GP2 racing as part of the inaugural Grand Prix in Baku, allowing the young drivers involved to discover new territories,” Pirelli’s Racing Manager Mario Isola said. “With low grip and high track evolution expected, as well as quite high temperatures, the new street circuit will provide quite a challenge to the teams in terms of understanding the tire behavior. Extracting the most from the tires in qualifying will be important to a good result as will selecting the best strategy for the race.

“Above all, it will be a question of adapting to this new set of circumstances as quickly as possible, rewarding the GP2 teams and drivers who are able to think on their feet.”

While teams will look to make the most of the tires, Isola adds strategy could be the key to who wins this weekend as mistakes are more likely on new circuits, resulting in more safety cars.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularopenwheel.com

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Ashley McCubbin is currently studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber while writing for multiple websites. She also serves on the managing staff for a select few. Born in North York, Ontario, McCubbin currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area where she enjoys taking photos and working on websites.

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