It’s the same tyre selection for Hungary as it was for Germany (medium, soft, ultrasoft) and the two circuits have some points in common – as well as many notable differences. The Hungaroring is a constant series of twists and turns, a bit like the Motordrom section in Hockenheim, but unlike Germany there’s no rest for the tyres over the course of the relatively short Hungaroring lap – and no rest for the drivers either.
The Hungaroring circuit from a tyre point of view:
- Just like Germany, the notable feature in Hungary is the ‘gap’ in the tyre nominations, with no supersoft nomination between soft and ultrasoft. The medium is the hardest compound.
- This is the first time ultrasoft has ever been chosen for the tricky and bumpy Hungaroring.
- Overtaking is notoriously difficult in Hungary, putting the emphasis on qualifying well and finding an effective race strategy. Handling and agility is more important than outright power.
- It’s all about mechanical rather than aerodynamic grip, despite high downforce levels.
- A one-stop supersoft-soft strategy was Sebastian Vettel’s winning option last year (selected by the majority of drivers) in a race that was also affected by an early safety car.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola comments on what to expect ahead of the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix in terms of tyre management: “After an exceptionally tough start to the year, Hungary marks the traditional mid-season break, so the teams will be especially keen to finish the first half of the year strongly. Hungary is often decided in qualifying, so it’s going to be interesting to see the effect of the ultrasoft this year and how it degrades on what is normally a hot surface, where the tyres are constantly working. Understanding this, and how the ultrasoft relates to the rest of the range that we have brought to the circuit, will be the key to unlocking a successful race strategy. For the third time this year, we have a ‘step’ between the nominated compounds: this means that there should be quite an evenly spaced performance gap between all three tyres, allowing different strategic options.” – Mario Isola explained, as reported earlier today by Pirelli’s official website.
- The ultrasoft comes to Hungary for the very first time.
- The second in-season test of the year takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday after the Hungarian Grand Prix. Toro Rosso will run a second car both days for
Pirelli’s 2019 tyre development programme. There was a test at the Hungaroring in 2017 too, so the teams should have plenty of data on this track.
- The ultrasoft tyre has been widely selected for the Hungarian Grand Prix: Renault has made the most aggressive choice with 10 sets of ultrasoft for each driver.
Min starting pressures (slicks)
19.0 psi (front) | 18.0 psi (rear)