2021 British Grand Prix Tyre Compounds: Formula 1 history is made at Silverstone this weekend with Pirelli as title sponsor: for the very first time there will be a sprint qualifying on Saturday to determine the grid for the grand prix on Sunday.
The tyres nominated are the same as last year’s British Grand Prix (which was the first race of a Silverstone double-header in 2020): C1 as the P Zero White hard, C2 as the P Zero Yellow medium, and C3 as the P Zero Red soft. The hardest compounds in the P Zero Formula 1 range have been selected due to the famous demands of the circuit, which puts lots of energy through the tyres.
The allocations are different for the weekends hosting a sprint qualifying. There will be 12 sets of P Zero slick tyres (instead of 13): two sets of P Zero White hard, four sets of P Zero Yellow medium, and six sets of P Zero Red soft. In addition, up to six sets of Cinturato Green intermediates and three sets of Cinturato Blue full wets – in case of wet weather conditions.
In Friday qualifying, only the soft tyre can be used but there will be no obligation to start the grand prix on the tyre with which the fastest time was set in Q2. In Saturday’s sprint qualifying, drivers will have a free choice of tyres with no obligatory pit stop. The tyre rules for the grand prix on Sunday remain unaltered, apart from every driver having a free choice of tyres for the start.
The new rear construction that was tested during free practice in Austria will make its race debut in Silverstone. These rear tyres, with a more robust structure but no extra weight and incorporating some of the elements already planned for next year’s 18-inch tyres, will be used from now until the end of the season.
Silverstone Track Characteristics
Silverstone is renowned as a high-speed, high-energy circuit. The famous Maggots and Becketts corners in particular impose big forces on the tyres, caused by lateral acceleration peak in excess of 5g as the drivers sweep through the complex without lifting.
Last year’s British Grand Prix was won with a one-stop medium-hard strategy: the same tactic selected by all three podium finishers (although Max Verstappen, in second, made a late stop for soft tyres and claimed the extra point for fastest lap).
Mario Isola – Pirelli Head of F1 and Car Racing
“There are plenty of new things to look forward to during the Silverstone weekend: first and foremost the introduction of sprint qualifying for the first of three races this year, which will completely alter the dynamic and rhythm of the weekend as well as having an important effect on how the tyres are used. The different ways in which the teams interpret these new regulations and make the most of them is going to be fascinating to watch. We’re also introducing the new construction of rear tyre that was tested successfully in Austria with positive feedback. As for Silverstone itself, it remains one of the biggest test of the year for tyres thanks to all its fast corners, meaning that some degree of tyre management is always essential. Another key factor is of course the British weather, which is famously variable at this time of year.”