The hottest track temperatures seen so far all season characterised the Hungarian Grand Prix, peaking at 54 degrees centigrade.
Most competitors started on the supersoft compound before switching as expected to the more durable soft compound for the final two stints. The highest-placed alternative strategy was Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in sixth, who started on the soft tyre and then did two stints on the supersoft: which was more than a second faster than the soft.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the race (marking the halfway point of the season) from second on the grid after claiming the lead at the start and maintaining it despite strong opposition from his team mate Nico Rosberg, who was frequently less than a second behind him. An equally close battle was fought for the final podium place between Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “After an afternoon of torrential rain yesterday, we had the hottest track temperatures seen all year today. As a result of yesterday’s rain, the drivers had a good selection of new tyres to choose from, which they made the most of today. In these challenging conditions everyone was pushing from start to finishing, following for the most part a two-stop strategy as we expected. A few drivers tried something different, notably the varied approaches between Red Bull and Ferrari, which meant that their drivers were challenging for position all the way to the final lap.”
Truthometer: Pirelli predicted a winning strategy of two stops, and that’s exactly how it turned out to be for the majority of competitors. Our predicted strategy was start on supersoft and then change to soft on laps 12 and 41. In the end, Hamilton went longer than we thought, making his first stop on lap 21 and his second stop on 46 out of 70. This was also helped by the wet qualifying, which caused the supersoft tyres to experience less degradation.