By Alex Kapadia
Pirelli is taking its soft and supersoft tyres to the tight and twisty Hungaroring circuit for the Hungarian Grand Prix where the rubber is expected to face warm weather for the first time.
According to the Italian tyres manufacturer: “After the fast corners and cool temperatures of Silverstone and the Nurburgring, the tight and twisty Hungaroring on the outskirts of Budapest in Hungary – which is normally characterised by hot weather at this time of year – presents a stark contrast for the Pirelli P Zero tyres.”
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli, added: “Hungary certainly couldn’t be more different to the races we have seen recently, as we found out when we went to the Hungaroring for our first season of the GP3 series last year.
“However, as the GP3 tyres are completely different to those we race in Formula One, there’s not much that we learned apart from an initial idea of what to expect: high temperatures and a slippery track surface.
“The big challenge for the teams and drivers is going to be keeping tyre wear under control in the warm conditions, but we have used the P Zero Yellow soft tyre in warm weather before and it has shown good performance.
“The supersoft tyre is almost certain to result in some quick qualifying laps but obviously it doesn’t have the same resistance to wear. How the teams juggle the parameters of speed and durability will once again form the key to their different strategies.
“There has been plenty of drama at the Hungaroring in the past and with so many new elements to the racing this year, I hope we’re in for another exciting grand prix.”
The Hungaroring is used very infrequently outside of the grand prix, which is key to one of the circuit’s main features: a dusty, slippery surface that progressively rubbers in over the course of the weekend.
This puts grip at a premium, which is one of the reasons why Pirelli has brought the P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft tyres to the Hungaroring.
The 16 corners are tight and narrow, similar to Monte Carlo, with a low average speed. This makes the circuit ideally suited to the softer tyres in Pirelli’s P Zero range, although this is the first time all season that the supersoft will face competition in very warm weather.