A challenging day of free practice at the Hungaroring was characterised by some of the highest track temperatures ever seen by Pirelli in Formula 1, which then fell rapidly as some clouds came over the circuit. Coupled with a slippery and ‘green’ track, as well as the short lap at the Hungaroring, the difference between the top four frontrunners was very close after free practice.
Drivers used the sessions to carry out the usual work, assessing different tyres with different fuel loads, in order to find out in particular what the degradation rate of the ultrasoft could be – which is being used in Hungary for the first time. This will be one of the keys to determining whether the optimal race strategy on Sunday will consist of one
or two stops.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola comments on what to expect ahead of the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix in terms of tyre management: “The extremely varied track temperature, as well as the usual considerations that come into play on Friday with a green track, means that as usual it’s quite hard to draw many firm conditions from today’s sessions straight away, although it’s clear that the top teams in particular are closely matched. The black asphalt here means that plenty of heat is always retained by the asphalt, which is a consideration. If conditions tomorrow remain as hot as they were today, it will be especially important to carefully put the tyres into their peak operating window during the preparation laps for qualifying. With overtaking being very difficult at the Hungaroring, qualifying is set to be particularly important.” – Mario Isola explained, as reported earlier today by Pirelli’s official website.