Hungarian GP: Bridgestone preview

Formula One heads to Hungary for the eleventh round of the FIA Formula One World Championship where Bridgestone's soft and super soft Potenza tyres will tackle the tight turns of the 4.38 km Hungaroring circuit. The Hungarian Grand Prix - ING ...

Formula One heads to Hungary for the eleventh round of the FIA Formula One World Championship where Bridgestone's soft and super soft Potenza tyres will tackle the tight turns of the 4.38 km Hungaroring circuit.

The Hungarian Grand Prix - ING Magyar Nagydij - takes place at the slowest permanent race circuit on the calendar and it presents a number of distinct challenges for competitors. As the circuit is not used frequently, it is likely to start the weekend very slippery and dirty before Bridgestone rubber is laid down on the track. This makes it difficult to find the ideal set-up as the circuit presents a moving target, but nevertheless, lap times should fall rapidly over the weekend due to the improving track surface.

The tight and twisty nature of the circuit combined with the difficult surface means that front tyre graining, particularly on the left hand side, is likely to be a factor, especially early in the weekend. Heat is another issue in Hungary, as this event has frequently been one of the hottest of the year. It's not always hot however, and in 2006 Formula One visited an exceptionally wet circuit, leading to an action-packed race. The Hungaroring is notable as Damon Hill finished second there after leading part of the race in his Arrows in 1997. It was the first time a driver on Bridgestone tyres had led a race following the company's entry to Formula One at the beginning of that year.

Five of the current Formula One drivers have won at the Hungaroring, Rubens Barrichello, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. This will be the 23rd time the Hungarian Grand Prix has taken place at the Hungaroring.

Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, said:

What are the challenges of the Hungaroring?

"The Hungaroring is an interesting circuit, especially as it is not used much during the year. This means the circuit grip levels experienced on Friday are likely to be very different from those experienced in the race. For deciding set-up and tyre strategy, this makes things difficult, and competitors will have to work hard. Tyre management, particularly with graining, is very important, and qualifying position is crucial as overtaking is difficult."

What has been learnt from the latest test in Jerez?

"We tested our medium compound current specification Potenza in Jerez as well as two slick tyres for next season, one with a revised working range for use with tyre blankets. This was a valuable test and the feedback and data we collected was largely in line with our expectations. Grip levels are increased with the slick tyres and teams are still learning how best to utilise this. Of course, it is difficult for teams using a tyre designed for next year's regulations as there will be a lot of changes to the cars. It will be very interesting when we see the true 2009 specification cars in action. "

Stats & Facts
Number & Spec of tyres brought to Hungary 2,000 (wet/extreme wets and soft & super soft dry)
Pole position time 2007: 1min 19.781 (Hamilton)
Fastest race lap 2007: 1min 20.047 (Raikkonen)
Top three 2007: Hamilton, Raikkonen, Heidfeld

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Rubens Barrichello , Kimi Raikkonen , Lewis Hamilton , Damon Hill