Mario Isola says Pirelli Motorsport are not expecting any big surprises with regards to tyre wear at the Hungaroring this weekend, although it is not obvious to what strategy will be best.
The Hungarian Grand Prix is the final race before the summer break, and Isola is expecting a mixture of one and two stop strategies on Sunday. Last year’s race was held in mixed conditions so saw the use of the wet weather tyres before all drivers switched to the dries, but the 2019 race saw Lewis Hamilton win by making two stops whereas Max Verstappen tried to make it on one.
Isola, the Head of F1 and Car Racing at Pirelli, says there have been some ‘tactically intriguing races’ in Hungary, and he can see the 2021 race being another where strategy plays a major part in the outcome.
“Tyre-wise, we’re not expecting any particularly big surprises from the Hungaroring, which has been a constant on the calendar and signals the end of the first half of the season,” said Isola. “The defining characteristic of the track are all the tight corners in quick succession, with no long straights to cool down the tyres, and hot weather.
“This makes the Hungaroring actually more demanding on tyres than it initially seems, so some degree of management is likely to be needed on the soft compound in particular. As a result, the best strategy is not always obvious – with different approaches often yielding a similar overall race time, depending on the individual circumstances.
“That’s why we’ve often seen some tactically intriguing races at the Hungaroring, keeping the final result in doubt right up to the end and providing an interesting challenge for the engineers.”