Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo claimed his second career win at the thrilling Hungarian Grand Prix using a three stop tyre strategy, running the whole race on the P Zero Yellow soft tyres after having started on the Cinturato Green intermediate tyres.
A heavy downpour shortly before the start of the race had prompted frantic strategy reconsiderations as the teams determined whether the Cinturato Blue full wet tyre or the intermediate would be the tyre to start on. After having completed some careful reconnaissance laps on either the full wet or the intermediate tyre before going to the grid, all drivers opted to start the race on the intermediate tyre.
Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari held off his second place against Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton who charged through the field to finish third after having started from the pit lane. Both used a two-stop strategy starting on the intermediates with Hamilton then completing one stint on the soft and his final stint on the medium tyre. Alonso just used the soft tyre for his final two stints, changing for the second time on lap 38 and thus making the soft tyre last for 32 laps.
As rain tyres were used during some point of the race, the rule of having to use both types of dry compounds was no longer valid. This then made for some very exciting racing with positions being swapped constantly, not only at the top but all the way down through the field and various strategies being at play. At one stage of the race an equal balance of medium and soft tyres were being run.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli tyres, said: “Today’s race at the Hungaroring showed how tyre strategy can benefit a race. The brief we received from the promoter and the teams in 2011 when we entered the sport is still valid and today’s results have shown how the tyres and strategy can help to produce very exciting races.
“The rain that fell just before the start of the race also helped as teams had to determine which of the rain tyres would be the most appropriate to start on.
“We saw some extremely close battles throughout until the very end, underlining the importance of selecting the right strategy and being able to react to changing circumstances.
“Now Formula One heads off for its summer break, and after the first half of a season that can only be described as impressive – during which the sport entered a new era, and we even previewed what an 18-inch tyre could look like – we look forward to an equally intriguing second half from the Belgian Grand Prix onwards.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office