Hungaroring, the second slowest circuit of the year after Monaco, marks the seventh round of the GP2 series and the fifth of the GP3 series. For GP2, Pirelli has nominated the P Zero White medium compound and P Zero Yellow soft compound: the same nomination that has been made for Formula One. This combination will provide a perfect compromise between the grip that is needed to negotiate the twists and turns of the Hungaroring and the durability required to cope with the high ambient temperatures that usually characterises this race. For GP3, the medium compound will be available; only the one compound will be supplied to GP3 at every race as per the regulations.
Pirelli’s racing manager says:
Mario Isola: “The Hungarian Grand Prix will provide a stark contrast to the most recent races at Silverstone and the Nurburgring, two of the faster circuits on the calendar, but even though the Hungaroring is a much slower circuit, it still has plenty of unique challenges which require the utmost concentration from the drivers. Hungary is characterised by its hot ambient temperatures and this weekend will be no different with long-range weather forecasts showing temperatures could reach 40 degrees Celsius on Saturday and Sunday. The heat combined with the twisty, bumpy nature of the circuit can prove very demanding on the tyres. It is also prone to churning up a lot of dust as it is one of the least used circuits of the year. The layout of the Hungaroring makes it extremely difficult for drivers to overtake and as a result of the circuit’s twisty nature, the medium and soft tyres allocated for GP2 could lead to a significant performance difference. For GP3, the crews will have the medium compound at their disposal, and it will be interesting to see how they get on at one of the hottest rounds of the season with the 2013 GP3 car which puts out more than 400 horsepower.”
The challenge for the tyres:
The Hungaroring is a tight and twisty track but has some of the characteristics of a street circuit, with a low average speed and very little grip. This gradually evolves as the weekend goes on and more rubber is laid down. More rubber on the surface allows for more grip which, in turn, allows faster lap times but also limits wear and degradation on the tyres.
As well as bring very twisty, the Hungaroring is located in an area which is very dry at this time of year with temperatures often hitting 40 degrees Celsius. The high track temperatures will undoubtedly lead to increased tyre wear.
The race and the rules:
Every car will have five sets of dry tyres and three sets of wet weather tyres available for the GP2 race weekend.
The five sets of dry tyres comprise three sets of the harder compound (medium) and two sets of the softer compound (soft).
The drivers can use their tyre allocation in any way they like. One set of the hard compound must be returned after free practice.
Race One on Saturday is run over 170 kilometres or one hour and each driver must complete one compulsory pit stop during which a minimum of two tyres must be changed.
The grid for Race Two on Sunday is determined by the finishing order of the first race, with the top eight positions reversed.
Race Two is run over 120 kilometres or 45 minutes, with no compulsory pit stops.
Every car will have three sets of dry tyres and two sets of wet weather tyres available for the GP3 race weekend. Only one compound is nominated and for Hungary it will be the medium compound. The drivers can use the tyre allocation in any way they like. All the GP3 compounds carry yellow markings.
In addition to the above allocation, each team will carry over one set of tyres from the previous race. This carried over set of tyres will only be used during the free practice and will be returned to the tyre manufacturer afterwards. For Hungary, the set carried over will be the medium compound following the previous race in Germany.
There is one practice session, one qualifying session and two races in GP3.
Qualifying takes place at 0945 on Saturday morning followed by Race One at 1720 (which lasts 17 laps or 30 minutes). Race Two is on Sunday at 0925 (which also lasts 17 laps or 30 minutes). The grid for Race Two is determined by the finishing order of the first race, with the top eight positions reversed.
Located less than 20 km from Hungary’s thriving capital Budapest, the Hungaroring was built in 1985 and has been a permanent fixture on the annual Formula One calendar since 1986. From a spectator’s point of view, the Hungarian Grand Prix is one of the best of the year as its location in the middle of a valley allows for 80% of the track to be visible at any one time. In 2012, Max Chilton – who moved up to compete in Formula One this year with the Marussia F1 Team – and Esteban Gutiérrez, who now drives for the Sauber F1 team, were the GP2 winners at last year’s Hungaroring. Felix de Costa dominated last year’s GP3 round in Hungary with the Carlin driver winning both races.
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