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Hungary GP: Qualifying team notes - Pirelli

NEWS STORY
18/07/2020

Mercedes, Racing Point and Renault began Q2 on the P Zero Yellow medium tyres, with Mercedes and Racing Point setting their best times on this compound. Racing Point used two sets of mediums, whereas Mercedes used one. Both teams will start the race on this tyre, theoretically around half a second per lap slower than the P Zero Red soft but with a longer life and lower degradation: especially if tomorrow's weather is warmer. Renault driver Esteban Ocon subsequently improved his Q2 time by using the soft tyre whereas his team mate Daniel Ricciardo stuck with the medium, but both Renaults qualified out of the top 10.

The track record was already broken before the end of qualifying, despite track conditions that were not ideal. Hamilton's pole lap beat last year's equivalent by more than a second.

The quickest strategy for the 70-lap Hungarian Grand Prix tomorrow is a one-stopper, as has often been the case in the past. The best way is to start on the medium for 35 to 40 laps, and then go onto the soft until the end. Second-fastest is actually a two-stopper, with two stints on soft of 21 to 25 laps each, then a final stint on medium to the flag. The third-quickest is a soft-hard strategy, swapping tyres between laps 28 and 34, while the slowest is a medium-hard strategy, changing between laps 35 and 38.

Mario Isola: "The speed today was truly impressive, with the track record shattered, and once more we saw how much the cars have evolved since last year, despite uncertain weather during the build-up to qualifying. Nonetheless, there wasn't any significant graining in the low temperatures today, from what we can tell so far. We had a mix of strategies in qualifying, which means that the top four cars will begin the race on the medium tyre, as long as it stays dry: which is far from guaranteed. There seems to be an advantage in starting on the medium tyre, especially in case of hotter conditions, so now the top cars will have to focus on making the most of their chosen strategy."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Budapest, here.

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