HUNGARY WITH F2 ON MEDIUM AND SOFT TYRES, F3 ON MEDIUM
The FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 championships will be back in action at the Hungaroring near Budapest for the final round prior to the summer break.
• The Hungaroring has a low average speed thanks to its tight and twisting layout. But the lack of long straights between the corners (with the exception of the pit straight) means the tyres are worked constantly by traction, braking and lateral forces.
• Cars run with high levels of downforce at the Hungaroring but also rely on mechanical grip from the tyres because of the relatively low cornering speeds.
• Overtaking is traditionally more difficult than at other circuits, so getting the most out of the tyres in qualifying is important, while good strategy and tyre management can provide an opportunity to move forward in the races. The racing line is quite narrow, and it’s very slippery off it.
• The summer date means temperatures can often be high, making thermal degradation a factor. It’s not uncommon for that heat to be combined with rain on the same weekend, as was the case in 2018.
The tyres and strategy
• The P Zero Yellow medium and P Zero Red soft tyres have been nominated for F2 at the Hungaroring. The combination hasn’t been seen this year since the opening round in Bahrain, while last year the medium and supersoft were nominated in Hungary.
• In F2, each driver has five sets of slick tyres to use over the weekend: three medium and two soft. They also have three sets of wet-weather tyres. During race one, where there is a mandatory pit stop, both compounds have to be used unless it is declared a wet race. Pit stops are optional in race two.
• Just one tyre is nominated for each F3 round: in Hungary it’s the medium. This was previously used earlier this season at Paul Ricard. The teams also tested at the Hungaroring with the medium tyre in April, but temperatures are likely to be higher during the race weekend.
• F3 drivers will get three new sets of the medium tyre, plus one carry-over set of hard tyres from the previous round at Silverstone, which must be returned after free practice. There are two sets of wet-weather tyres as well.
What happened last year?
The Formula 2 feature race took place on a drying track, with drivers starting on wet tyres before switched to slicks. Lando Norris was quickest on the wet tyres, before Nyck de Vries was quickest on slicks to take the win. Alex Albon won the sprint race on the medium tyres after passing Luca Ghiotto with four laps to go. In GP3, where the soft tyres were used in both races, the victories went to Nikita Mazepin and Dorian Boccolacci.
Mario Isola, Pirelli head of F1 and car racing: “This the last race before the summer break but both championships are already entering their closing stages, which provides even more pressure to obtain a strong result in Hungary. It’s a type of track that many of the drivers will be familiar with from their karting days: very tight and narrow, with the tyres constantly working. As a result, managing the compounds in the hot conditions will be vitally important, with an accent on strategy as well because it’s very tricky to overtake. It’s also going to be one of the most important qualifying sessions of the year: finding a gap on what’s often a crowded circuit will be essential as well.”
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