Pirelli have brought their medium and soft tyres to the Hungaroring, a choice the company believes will suit the twisty nature of the track while coping with the usually higher temperatures.
Conditions were dry and warm for both free practice sessions at the Hungaroring, with track temperature rising by 12 degrees centigrade between the morning and afternoon sessions.
The Hungaroring contains 14 demanding corners, where the cars rely on mechanical grip because of the low to medium speeds. Despite these demands on the tyres, and a ‘dirty’ track that can cause the cars to slide and increase the workload on them, degradation proved to be low throughout both sessions.
Two pit stops are expected for the race, but with such a significant time gap between the two compounds, the timing of the stops will be very important. Both Pirelli and all the teams will analyse the data obtained today, on different fuel loads, in order to get a more accurate read on the likely strategies for Sunday.
“We’re satisfied that the medium and soft tyres are working as we expected them to in Hungary", said Paul Hembery, Pirelli's motorsport director.
"which is a circuit that can actually work the tyres quite hard despite the fact that it is low speed, especially if the set-up is not quite right. We’re seeing about 1.6 seconds between the two compounds at the moment, and this is likely not to change much, especially as the soft tyre in particular was showing low levels of thermal degradation. We think that this should be a two-stop race but we will have to analyse all the data fully before having a more concrete idea as to what the theoretical fastest strategy will be.”