Bridgestone expect the track at the Hungaroring to improve over the weekend and think that the super soft compound could become the most favoured – even on race day.
Sebastian Vettel set his fastest time on the super soft tyre this afternoon as the teams used the two Friday practice sessions to prepare for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
“Once again we have seen very fast times from competitors, with the lap times faster than this time last year,” said Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, as he commented on the day’s running. “The track surface started quite dirty, however not as dirty as we have seen in previous visits. Because of the dirty surface we saw front and rear graining, but no abrasion on the tread surface which we would sometimes see here.
“By the afternoon, the surface had improved greatly, and there was very little graining shown. Some competitors experienced a change in car balance when moving from the medium to the super soft tyre, so they still have work to do in refining their set-ups tomorrow.”
Hamashima expects that the identity of the teams’ favoured tyre compound will depend a lot of the temperature in Budapest over the weekend. If it is cool enough, there could be some long stints on the super soft tyre on Sunday.
“A lot will depend on the temperatures we saw here, as we have seen very high ambient and track temperatures in the past,” he explained. “If it is very hot, we expect less durability from the super soft tyre. If the track continues to improve as it has, and it does not get very hot, then we can expect very little in terms of degradation from the super soft.
“If this is the case, then this tyre will not only be the favoured tyre for qualifying, but also the better one for the race too. The medium provides good performance, however it is not as fast as the super soft. If this trend continues, a good strategy would be to minimise the use of the medium tyre in the race, so we could see different strategies relating to stint length than we have recently.”