5 Things learned after first day of practice in Hungary
Jul. 31 - As the relation between the two F1 title rival teams Mercedes and Red Bull is cooling down rapidly, the first day of practice in Hungary showed they are again very close in terms of competition.
It was a hot day around the track near Budapest which generated extremely high track temperatures.
5 things learned in Budapest today
- Mercedes's Valtteri Bottas was the fastest driver in the hottest track temperatures experienced all year, with almost 60 degrees centigrade on track and 35 degrees ambient. Red Bull's Max Verstappen was quickest in the slightly cooler morning conditions of FP1. On both occasions, the red soft C4 tyre was used to set the best time.
- Despite these very high temperatures, there's a risk of rain tomorrow and sporadically during the rest of the weekend, which meant that the teams maximised data collection today in dry and hot conditions.
- There was a high degree of track evolution throughout free practice, with the Hungaroring not having been used extensively up to this weekend.
- In some of the hottest conditions ever seen on track, all the compounds stood up extremely well, including the soft C4, which delivered maximum grip.
- Based on the data collected so far, there's about a 0.7 second difference between white hard C2 and yellow medium C3, as well as a 0.9 second difference between yellow medium C3 and red soft C4: somewhat more than expected.
Mario Isola – Pirelli's Head of F1 & Car Racing
"These were some of the hottest track temperatures we can ever remember so thermal degradation was definitely a factor during the longer runs; particularly on the soft compound and on the rear tyres. However, it's far from certain that the weather will remain the same, with a forecast of rain at some point adding yet another unpredictable element to what is always a strategically complex race.
In comparison to last year, the warmer conditions allowed the soft tyre to perform very well over a single lap. Nonetheless, there could be an advantage in starting on the medium tyre for the grand prix, so this will be a consideration for the qualifying strategy. With a bigger gap between medium and soft than we expected for now, getting through the Q2 session on the medium isn't guaranteed for anybody. So there's plenty for the teams to think about tonight."
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