Ferrari goes aggressive for Hungary


Next weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix marks the third time this season that Pirelli has opted to skip a compound, the Italian manufacturer having done the same thing in China and this weekend in Germany.

Pirelli is taking the ultrasoft, soft and medium to Budapest - the same three compounds to be used at Hockenheim this weekend - having used supersoft, soft and medium in 2017 and 2016.

While Renault leads the way in terms of the ultrasofts, the French outfit's drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz taking ten sets apiece, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen take nine sets, as do the Williams and Sauber duos.

On the other hand, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas take just seven sets of the purple-banded rubber as do the Red Bull duo.

However, while Hamilton takes five sets of softs, Hulkenberg takes just one, while the Bulls, Bottas and Toro Rosso duo take four sets.

Hamilton is one of seven drivers taking just one set of medium - which effectively corresponds to last year's soft - while the rest take two sets.

While the Hungaroring is a permanent venue, it actually has some of the characteristics of a street circuit, such as tight and twisty corners and low grip, as well as contained average lap speeds. The weather can also be extremely hot, increasing thermal degradation.

The Hungaroring is an unremitting series of corners, with the tyres constantly working while teams run quite high downforce levels to maximise corner speeds, the emphasis being on mechanical rather than aerodynamic grip.

There's only one real straight, meaning the tyres don't get much chance to cool down, while (groan) overtaking is notoriously difficult, putting the emphasis on qualifying and strategy.

Handling and agility are key to a quick lap rather than outright power.

Sebastian Vettel won last year, the German on a one-stop strategy which saw him start on supersofts before switching to softs. Indeed, the first seven cars home were on exactly the same strategy, while only two of the 17 drivers that finished were on a two-stopper.

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Published: 17/07/2018
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