Those of you in London and the south of England are advised to look upwards next week, for the Goodyear Blimp is returning to our skies. Goodyear tells us that the Blimp will be above London and the surrounding areas on 11 and 12 May. From there, the icon will travel to Brands Hatch for the second round of the British Touring Car Championship on 14 and 15 May, where it will provide aerial coverage of the race.
Mercedes, led by Lewis Hamilton, took the top two podium steps at Monza’s Italian grand prix as nearly every driver chose a one-stop supersoft-soft strategy. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo adopted a different strategy, starting on a soft and moving to the supersoft for the second stint to move 12 places up from his starting position of 16th on the grid – the result of penalties. The Australian also set the fastest lap of the race, which was two seconds faster than last year’s equivalent, using the same tyres.
GRT Grasser Racing Team has won the opening round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at Monza in its #63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3, using the Pirelli P Zero DHD tyre. The drivers making up the team were Christian Engelhart, Andrea Caldarelli and Mirko Bortolotti. In race two of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, also run on 23 April, Antonelli Motorsport drivers Loris Spinelli and Mikael Grenier emerged victorious.
The Italian Autodromo Nazionale Monza hosted the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) pre-season test, the first opportunity for fans to see all the 2017 competitors and for teams to gather data before the season begins in two weeks’ time. In around 14 hours of track time, teams worked on set-ups to optimise their new tyre and car combinations; the 14 cars covered 2268 laps – a total of 13138 km. Wet weather on Saturday evening and a damp track on Sunday gave teams opportunities to work with the intermediate and full-wet tyre options.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg won the Italian Grand Prix from second on the grid using a one-stop strategy – the winning strategy in recent years as well – starting on the P Zero Yellow soft tyre, and then switching to the P Zero medium halfway through the race. His teammate Lewis Hamilton finished second with an identical strategy. The mix of strategies on show is proven by the fact that Rosberg and Hamilton were the only two drivers who qualified in the top 10 to start the race on the soft tyre. Pirelli says this gave them the possibility to drive a longer first stint than the supersoft starters, forming the key strategic battle for the podium.
Pirelli has confirmed the 2015 tyre choices up to its home grand prix in Italy, with a third outing of 2015 for the P Zero Orange hard tyre at Silverstone. The fast British circuit, next on the agenda for Formula One, will see Pirelli supply its P Zero White medium too, meaning the hardest tyres in the line-up will be utilised for the second time in two years.
Dunlop will seek to extend its 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans success into next year as the manufacturer launches its 2015 GT testing programme. Dunlop also signalled its intention to expand its endurance racing activities to include new specification tyres for ‘open tyre’ GT classes.
Pirelli has shown the effect of the most extreme speed to be clocked during the 2014 season on its Formula One tyres. At the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo reached 362.1km/h while slipstreaming on the main straight. At that speed, Ricciardo’s wheel was rotating around 2,800 times every minute, or just under 50 times every second.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton claimed victory in Monza, using the popular one-stop strategy, the race method predicted as dominant prior to the race by tyre supplier Pirelli. The manufacturer’s home race – it is held half an hour’s drive from the company’s HQ in Milan – saw all of the top 10 finishers using similar tactics to Hamilton, as low wear and degradation of both compounds made the approach almost obligatory.
Pirelli has announced its compounds for the Formula One grands prix in Belgium, Italy and Singapore. At Spa, one of F1’s most spectacular and demanding circuits, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and the increasingly distant chasing pack will use the P Zero White and Yellow medium and soft tyres suited to Belgium’s the varied track and weather conditions.