Pirelli Motorsport will bring the same three tyre compounds to the Hungaroring this weekend that they did two weeks ago at Silverstone, but for Mario Isola, the Head of Car Racing of the Italian tyre manufacturer, he is intrigued to see how the track in Hungary has evolved in the past twelve months.
The Hungarian Grand Prix circuit was resurfaced ahead of the 2016 event, and one-year on, Formula 1 returns again to the track, with Pirelli bringing the Medium, Soft and Supersoft compounds.
Isola says that strategy can makes a dramatic difference in Hungary, and with teams and drivers favouring the Supersoft and Soft tyre, he feels Friday practice at the Hungaroring will be key to getting those tyres working.
“The track was resurfaced in time for last year’s grand prix and it will be interesting to see the effect of this change one year on, as the new asphalt matures,” said Isola. “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 makes the 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.”
Tyre Choices For the Hungaroring
The Supersoft tyre is the compound of choice for many drivers this weekend, with no fewer than nine drivers bringing ten sets of the Supersoft to the Hungaroring.
Max Verstappen is perhaps the most high profile of those to do so, with the Red Bull Racing ace also bringing two sets of the Soft and one set of the Medium, the same choice as was made by Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon, Felipe Massa, Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne, Nico Hülkenberg and Jolyon Palmer!
Both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas from the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, and both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen from Scuderia Ferrari, have chosen nine sets of the Supersoft tyre as well as three sets of the Soft and one set of the Mediums, with the same choice being made by Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz Jr, Daniil Kvyat, Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson.
The Haas F1 Team drivers are the only ones to go to Hungary with eight sets of Supersoft, with both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen also having four sets of the Soft as well as the one set of Mediums.