Pirelli preview the Hungarian Grand Prix

The Hungarian Grand Prix will use P Zero White medium, P ZeroYellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft: exactly the same selection that was chosen in Hungary last year, and the fifth time that this particular combination has been used in 2017 (including at the last race in Great Britain).

The Hungaroring presents a big contrast to Silverstone though: while it is another well-established permanent venue, it actually has some of the characteristics of a street circuit, such as tight and twisty corners, quite low grip, as well as contained average lap speeds. The weather can be extremely hot, increasing thermal degradation, which is one reason why the medium tyre is brought to Hungary.

The Circuit from a tyre point of view

  • The Hungaroring is an unremitting series of corners, with the tyres constantly working.
  • Hungary produced some of the hottest track temperatures of 2016 after a wet
  • Saturday: two stops was the winning strategy last year.
  • Teams run quite high downforce levels to maximise corner speeds but emphasis is one mechanical rather than aerodynamic grip.
  • In the past, we’ve seen that safety cars can affect race strategy in Hungary.
  • There’s only one real straight, meaning the tyres don’t get much chance to cool down.
  • Overtaking is notoriously difficult, putting the emphasis on qualifying and strategy.
  • Handling and agility are key to a quick lap rather than outright power.

Mario Isola, head of car racing: “The track was resurfaced in time for last year’s grand prix and it will be interesting tosee the effect of this change one year on, as the new asphalt matures. We noticed last year that it was smoother and generally faster than the previous surface. The team’s tyre selections have leaned in favour of soft and supersoft, so we obviously expect that to form the basis of their strategies. Hungary is traditionally a race where strategy make sthe difference, also because of the difficulty of overtaking, so the data collection process on Friday and Saturday should be even more important than usual with this brand-new generation of faster cars.”

What’s new?

  • At the same time as the grand prix, Pirelli’s biggest single race in terms of tyres supplied is taking place: the Spa 24 Hours in Belgium, using more than 10,000 tyres.
  • Following the Hungarian Grand Prix, the second in-season test of the year wil ltake place on Tuesday and Wednesday with all the teams expected. Within that test, Mercedes will run a car for one day to help develop Pirelli’s 2018 slick tyres.
  • Having passed the season’s halfway point, Formula 1 takes a break after the Hungarian Grand Prix, before resuming in Belgium at the end of August.