Budapest’s Hungaroring, home of the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix, is one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar, and that’s before you take into account Hungary’s notoriously high ambient temperatures this time of year. It’s not uncommon for temperatures to approach 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) during the day, and for drivers stuck in the tight confines of an F1 car you’re looking at substantially higher numbers.
The high temperatures also have a significant effect on the thermal degradation of the tires. In order to find the right balance between performance and durability, Pirelli has selected its medium and soft compounds for the race. The Italian firm says the combination is well suited to providing the mechanical grip necessary to negotiate all the corners, yet hardy enough to withstand the punishing heat.
Fortunately, it looks like there will be mild conditions at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix. Though peak temperatures during tomorrow’s qualifying will be close to 100 degrees, Sunday’s race is only expected to see highs of about 81 degrees F (27 degrees C). The skies will be mostly sunny, with little chance of rain predicted.
We should be treated with an exciting race come Sunday. Already during practice we saw Force India’s Sergio Perez roll his car and crash hard into the barriers. Fortunately he was unhurt. The cause of the crash is thought to be a suspension failure, which the team is investigating.
It was Mercedes-AMG’s duo fastest in initial practice, with Lewis Hamilton slightly ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg in the timesheets. Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen also showed some excellent pace, as did Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Going into tomorrow's qualifying session and Sunday’s race, Hamilton leads the 2015 Drivers’ Championship with 194 points versus the 177 of Rosberg and 135 of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes has 371 points versus the 211 of Ferrari and 151 of Williams.