VERSTAPPEN TAKES RED BULL TO A NEW RECORD
MARIO ISOLA - MOTORSPORT DIRECTOR
“It was a very interesting weekend which saw a trial of a new tyre allocation format, as well as evaluating bringing a trio of compounds one step softer than in the past. As for the ATA, first and foremost, it should be pointed out that it will be trialled again at Monza this coming September, on a track with completely different characteristics to this one and the data will be analysed very carefully. Apart from that, I’d say the two salient points from this weekend were that yesterday’s qualifying was more unpredictable than usual, because it presented the drivers with new challenges: the need to adapt quickly to the change of compound and the fact that having two sets of each compound for the race introduced greater flexibility in terms of strategy.
The fact that all the drivers made two stops in very hot conditions with a track temperature that was 53 degrees at the start, with no high degradation problems confirms that the three compounds we chose to bring here were the right ones, given that four drivers even used the Soft for their first stint, showing that it was not out of the question to race with it.
Now we come to the final round before the summer break, at Spa-Francorchamps, one of the most fascinating tracks on the calendar, with totally different characteristics to those of the Hungaroring, both in terms of its layout and when it comes to the sort of weather we can expect. Belgium will be the third round of the season to feature the Sprint format, which should ensure an even more exciting show.”
THE DAY ON TRACK
Max Verstappen took his ninth win of the season, taking his total number of Formula 1 victories to 44. For Red Bull it was their twelfth consecutive win, a new outright record. Although he missed out on pole position yesterday afternoon by just three thousandths, the reigning world champion still managed to lead across the line for all 70 laps of the race. He made the most of the fact that polesitter Lewis Hamilton did not get the best of starts and also came off best in a thrilling duel with Oscar Piastri in the McLaren. From then on, Verstappen was in dominant form, winning by over 30 seconds from Lando Norris, who secured his second consecutive podium finish. Rounding off the podium trio was Sergio Perez, who staged a great climb up the order from ninth on the grid.
As widely predicted all the drivers opted for two stops, although there were several permutations. For example, the top two finishers opted to go Medium/Hard/Medium, while Perez started on Hard before twice fitting Mediums. Four drivers started on Softs: Sainz, Gasly, Stroll and Tsunoda. Making the best use of the extra grip afforded by the C5 was Ferrari’s Spanish driver, who crossed the line sixth at the end of the opening lap, having started eleventh. AlphaTauri’s Japanese driver used all three available compounds, while in the Williams, Alex Albon did the most consecutive laps (38) on Hard tyres. Sainz drove the longest stint on Softs (15 laps) while Ricciardo did no fewer than 40 laps on one set of Mediums. The most used compound was the C3 (770 laps, 61.5%), followed by the C4 (448, 35.78%) and the C5 (34, 2.72%).
Dennis Hauger (MP Motorsport) led the Sprint Race from start to finish, beating Ayumu Iwasa (Dams) by over four seconds. Behind them came Oliver Bearman (Prema). Virtuosi Racing took their first win of the season courtesy of Jack Doohan in the Feature Race in Hungary. This was the Australian’s maiden win in the category and he kept series leader Frederik Vesti (Prema Racing) at bay, who had taken second place at the start, with third place going to Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix). Vesti still leads the series on 153 points, by 11 points from Pourchaire and 21 from Iwasa.
The Budapest Formula 3 weekend saw the Italian flag flying. Gabriele Minì (Hitech) won the Sprint Race, after overtaking Nikita Bedrin, who went on to finish third, on lap 7, while Gabriel Bortoleto (Trident) was second past the flag. Prema dominated the Feature Race with a one-two finish for Zak O’Sullivan and Dino Berganovic, who had occupied the top two slots on the grid. They were joined on the podium by Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport). Bortoleto finished seventh, but still heads the drivers’ classification on 144 points. O’Sullivan is now on 101 points, just one ahead of Marti (Campos Racing).
The eighth round of the World Rally Championship was won by a dominant Kalle Rovanpera, who was quickest on almost all the special stages of the Rally of Estonia in his Toyota. The Finn leads the series and joining him on the podium were Thierry Neuville and Esapeka Lappi for Hyundai. The Scorpion Soft tyres set the standard for the drivers in a rally that threw up a few surprises, linked chiefly to the increased speed of the cars. In fact, the greater pace added to the usual challenges encountered on this event, namely road surfaces with wheel tracks that constantly got deeper with each run, high speed sections interspersed with twisty ones and many jumps, not to mention gravel.
NEXT UP FOR OUR F1 TYRES
The Belgian Grand Prix takes place next week at Spa-Francorchamps, one of the historic Formula 1 venues, where tyres are subjected to significant lateral and vertical forces. Pirelli will bring the C2 compound as P Zero White hard, C3 as P Zero Yellow medium and C4 as P Zero Red soft. The Ardennes circuit hosts another F1 Sprint weekend, following on from those in Azerbaijan and Austria. Saturday is given over to the Sprint Shootout and race, while qualifying for Sunday’s race takes place on Friday afternoon.
Founded in 1872, Pirelli is a company with deep Italian roots now recognised all over the world for its cutting-edge technology, capacity for innovation, and the quality of its products. Motorsport has always played an important part in Pirelli’s strategy, following the ‘race to road’ philosophy. The company has been engaged in motorsport for 116 years and today supplies tyres to more than 350 championships on both two and four wheels. Pirelli pays constant attention to the most efficient use of natural resources and energy, aiming to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.
Pirelli has been Global Tyre Partner of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship since 2011. The company also supplies championships including FIA Formula 2, FIA Formula 3, Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, FIA World Rally Championship and GT World Challenge, alongside numerous national series.