By Alex Kapadia
McLaren racer Lewis Hamilton set the blazing pace during the two practice sessions on the tight and twisty Hungaroring today ahead of Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Hamilton went fastest during both free practice sessions, using the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tyres in the morning and the P Zero Red supersoft tyres in the afternoon.
His fastest time of the day was set on the P Zero Red tyre: 1m21.018s, two-tenths of a second quicker than the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso and a similar cushion over his own fastest time in the morning.
The teams used the two sessions to assess the main differences between the soft and the supersoft tyre with different fuel loads.
The supersoft turned out to be just under a second quicker than the soft tyre under equal circumstances, underlining the fact that the two compounds are quite evenly matched on this tight and twisty circuit.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s Motorsport Director, commented: “It’s been an interesting day of free practice, where as we expected, we’ve seen that there is about eight-tenths of a second of difference between the soft and the supersoft tyre: a combination that we also used in Monaco and Canada.
“Nonetheless, the supersoft clearly does have a small advantage, which will mean that those aiming for pole position are going to use it.
“Depending on the track and weather conditions, I think we’ll see about 15 laps out of the supersoft tyres during the race and around 25 laps from the soft tyres: we saw them being used for 24 laps today.
“There are a wide variety of cars looking very competitive, which is going to make the order in qualifying hard to predict. But after analysing our tyre data tonight, we should have a better idea of where everybody is at.”