Formula One’s tyre supplier Pirelli will provide teams and drivers with an exciting tyre allocation for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, bringing some of the softer compounds of their range to Spa.
After using the three softest compounds at last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, teams will have similarly soft compounds to work with as the field heads to Spa. Pirelli has nominated the the C2 as P Zero White hard, C3 as P Zero Yellow medium and C4 as P Zero Red soft for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Following the alternative tyre allocation that made its debut at the Hungarian Grand Prix, drivers will once again have 13 sets of slick tyres instead of 11 sets. However, the weather conditions could mean that slick tyres will hardly come to action with rain expected to multiple phases of the race weekend.
The tyre selection is the same as it was last year, meaning that teams can build on the data and experience they gained a year ago. However, it is an exciting choice considering the nature of the 7.004km Spa circuit. The longest track on the Formula One calendar Francorchamps is a circuit where the tyres are subjected to considerable forces.
The most challenging part for tyres is the compression at Eau Rouge followed by the climb up to Raidillon: consisting of a high speed left-hand turn, where the downforce squashes the car into the ground, followed by another high-speed right-left kink where the car goes light at the top of the hill onto the Kemmel straight.
The circuit also had the biggest difference in elevation of any track all year. The highest point is at Malmedy (around 468 metres above sea level) while the lowest is Paul Frere (around 366 metres above sea level). That’s a difference of 102.2 metres: more than the height of the Big Ben clock tower in London.
As for the strategy, nearly all the teams opted for a two-stop strategy last year with all three compounds having been used throughout the 2022 Spa F1 race. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen lined up 14th on the grid after a penalty but won the race with a great fightback, starting on the softs and then completing two stints on the medium.
After relatively low pressure limits at the twisty and slow Hungaroring, Pirelli will mandate high minimum starting pressures at Spa which has been a norm for the Milan-based manufacturer on high-speed tracks. For the front tyre, the minimum starting pressure will be set at 25.0 psi while the rear pressure limits will be set at 23.0 psi.
The camber limits will be -2.75° for the front tyres and -1.50° for the rear tyres.