The Hungarian Grand Prix from a tyre point of view
By Berthold Bouman
Pirelli have allocated the Medium (Prime, white marked) and the Soft (Option, yellow marked) tyre compound for round 11 of the FIA Formula One World Championship. According to Pirelli this combination is to provide the best compromise between the grip and durability needed for the tight and twisty Hungaroring.
The challenge for the Pirelli tyres is to get enough traction, and make sure the tyres don’t heat up too quickly under braking, and as the Hungarian circuit has a lot of braking areas, it is certainly is very demanding for the tyres.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s Director of Motorsport, explains the challenges of the Hungaroring. “Hungary will provide a very stark contrast to the circuits that we have just come from, being the slowest permanent track on the calendar. This does not make it any less demanding on the tyres though: in fact a twisty and slippery circuit will often put more heat through the tyre than a fast and flowing layout as the tyre is moving around more – particularly when the ambient temperatures are high,” he said.
But the weather also play a role according to Hembery, “Last year we saw some wet weather, so it’s important not to make any assumptions. Consequently, we are still lacking some information about the performance of our slick tyres under race conditions at the Hungaroring.”
Asked about how to keep the tyre degradation under control, he replied, “Balancing the demands of speed and durability will be key to getting the most out of the tyres in Hungary, in order to keep degradation under control.”
Pirelli’s Technical notes:
• The start-finish straight of just over 700 metres is the only real straight on the entire circuit, with the tyres constantly loaded in a sequence of 14 corners for the rest of the 4.381-kilometre lap. The cars are at full throttle for just 10 seconds or so during the lap.
• The cars ride the kerbing in the chicane between turns six and seven as part of the racing line. The resulting impact generates a force on the tyre equivalent to 800 kilogrammes.
• The cars run high downforce in Hungary to maximise grip and a soft suspension set-up to improve traction, just like Monaco. The cars also need accurate turn-in for all the rapid changes of direction, so they tend to run with a stiff front end to guarantee precise roadholding. However it’s important for the car set-up not to accentuate tyre wear, which is a vital factor in Hungary.
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