The teams will each have two sets of the experimental hard tyre for the two Friday sessions in addition to their usual allocation, before reverting to Pirelli’s standard P Zero Silver hard compound and P Zero Yellow soft compound for the rest of the race weekend.
“Silverstone is one of the most iconic circuits on the Formula One calendar, precisely because it is so demanding for the drivers, cars and tyres,” commented Pirelli’s motorsport director, Paul Hembery. “This is why we have chosen to test a new experimental hard compound here during free practice, which we may use in the future.
“The new tyre has a slightly wider working range, which should make it easier for the teams to get the tyres into the right operating temperature window. But with the championship so finely balanced, our priority is to ensure that no one team is handed any particular advantage.”
As well as several high-speed corners that put plenty of lateral energy through the tyres, Silverstone is often characterised by a wide variety of climatic conditions over the race weekend, with ambient temperatures between 15 to 30 degrees Celsius possible. The track surface is also quite abrasive, which further increases tyre wear, while the tyre structure has to cope with extended periods when the cars are at top speed and full throttle.
“Silverstone is a very high-energy circuit that can see some unpredictable weather conditions, so a strong performance from the tyres and an effective strategy are vital ingredients in a successful race outcome,” added Hembery.