Pirelli previews Hungarian grand prix as F1 season passes halfway mark
Pirelli will supply its P Zero Red supersoft, Yellow soft and White medium compounds to Formula One’s teams at the recently resurfaced Hungaroring. The tyre manufacturer says that the circuit “could not be any more different” following the previous race at Silverstone; the tight and twisty Hungaroring has been described as being like an oversized go-kart track, while weather conditions can range from extremely hot (a common occurrence) to rain (which was the case two years ago, as well as 2011).
Analysing the track, Pirelli adds that the presence of only one real straight means tyres are constantly working, though it is a well-balanced track, with traction, braking and lateral energy demands roughly equal. Tyres will reach high temperatures, making thermal degradation a factor, especially given the emphasis on mechanical grip, as a low average speed means there is little downforce. Drivers describe the Hungaroring as one of the year’s most physically demanding circuits.
Pirelli adds that the track has been entirely resurfaced and the circuit infrastructure upgraded this year. There is also some new kerbing and run-off areas while the effect of the resurfacing has additionally been to smooth out some of the bumps. This should culminate in faster lap times, Pirelli suggests.
Incidents and safety cars influenced the 2015 strategies; Sebastian Vettel stopped twice, starting on soft, completing a middle stint again on soft, then finishing on medium. Nico Rosberg would have finished second with a one-stopper (soft to medium) but lost time right at the end of the race following contact with another competitor.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director added: “Hungary provides a very different type of challenge to what we’ve seen at Silverstone, but some of the teams used the recent Silverstone test to try out a few ideas that could be relevant to the Hungaroring, so it will be interesting to see what effect this has. The track has been completely resurfaced, and we saw in Austria that this had quite a profound influence as well: we will need to see if this is case in Hungary too, so free practice will be very important.”