The Hungaroring, near Budapest, is one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar with the high ambient temperatures at this time of the year also putting extra demand on the cars and their drivers. The current weather forecast for the 2013 Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix is for hot and dry conditions.
The full race weekend looks to fine and sunny, with temperatures during Sunday’s race predicted to hit 99 degrees F (37 degrees C). Of course, temperatures will be much hotter in the cockpit and on the track surface.
Humidity is expected to be a relatively mild 27 percent and wind speed will be as low as 8 mph.
After the initial practice sessions, Red Bull Racing looks to be on top with star driver Sebastian Vettel topping the time sheets with a 1:21.264 and team mate Mark Webber just 0.044 of a second off that pace. Behind them were the Lotus of Romain Grosjean and then the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, respectively.
For all drivers, traction and braking are the two key areas that challenge drivers in Hungary, which adversely affects the tires. With the high number of tight corners and significant steering inputs, the external edges of the tires are particularly prone to temperature spikes and wear, emphasizing the need for a smooth driving style.
As previously reported, Pirelli is introducing new tires for the race, which teams are doing their best to get used to during the practice sessions. The Italian tire company has brought P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tires for the race.
Considering his pace, Vettel looks set to extend his lead in the Drivers’ Championship. The triple world championship has a total of 157 points and is followed by Fernando Alonso in second with 123 points and Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen in third with 116 points.
In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing sits on 250 points versus the 183 of Mercedes AMG and 180 of Ferrari.