HUNGARORING -- Friday practice was somewhat inconclusive when it came to analysing tyre strategies for Sunday's race. Two red flags temporarily halted the second practice session, interrupting the teams' runs on the super-soft and soft compound tyres as they tried to gauge degradation levels. The Hungaroring's tight layout means the tyres are prone to overheating and drivers only have one straight where they can attempt to cool them down. Combined with the high track temperatures expected on Sunday (as much as 10 degrees higher than those on Friday), controlling degradation in the heat of the battle could be tough.
Nevertheless, Pirelli believes a one-stop strategy is possible and expects teams to favour that approach in order to retain track position and avoid falling into traffic. In that case, the timing of the single stop will be all important as a driver stopping for a fresh set of softs could enjoy a performance boost over a rival trying to extend a stint on a well-used set of super-softs. The lap time delta between the two compounds when they are new is 0.8s-0.9s in favour of the super-soft, but those numbers are always a bit lower in the race when fuel loads are heavy and tyre management comes into play.
Expect those starting out of position on the back half of the grid to start on the softs in the hope of moving up the field on a long first stint and attacking at the end on a relatively fresh set of super-softs.