Hungaroring: Bridgestone preview

- HUNGARORING TYRE COMPOUND CHANGE FOR GP2 - In a change to the original pre-season planned allocation, Bridgestone will bring the soft compound GP2 Series slick tyre to the sixth round of the championship which takes place...


In a change to the original pre-season planned allocation, Bridgestone will bring the soft compound GP2 Series slick tyre to the sixth round of the championship which takes place at the Hungaroring circuit near Budapest, Hungary on July 24-26.

In 2008 Bridgestone's medium compound GP2 tyre was brought to Budapest. In the pre-season allocations, the super soft tyre was announced for Hungary - two steps softer than previously used. However, after evaluating the tyre data through the season so far the revision was made to switch to the soft tyre for this event and the teams were notified of this change earlier in the year.

The Hungaroring is the second slowest circuit on the GP2 calendar and a real challenge for the drivers, mainly due to limited opportunities for overtaking. With heavy braking required and high traction needed for the low speed corners, competitors face a challenge for how they can maximise the use of their tyres.

In 2008, Brazilian driver Lucas di Grassi (Campos) and Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi (Trust Team Arden) were both victorious at the Hungaroring.

Quote from Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development

"Budapest typically provides hot conditions, and with our one step softer strategy for the Hungaroring this year, tyre management and degradation will be the key issues for drivers to consider. As this circuit does not allow for much overtaking, qualifying is very important. The first corner is the only real opportunity to pass other competitors. Based on Bridgestone data from previous years, the super soft GP2 tyre could be used in Budapest, however, it is marginal. After considering the data from tyre usage so far this season we revised our original allocation, therefore the soft Bridgestone tyre is the allocated compound for this GP2 race weekend. "

Bridgestone GP2 Series: Q&A with Sebastien Buemi

The twists and turns of the Hungaroring have seen countless memorable races over the years. Held in the height of summer, the track can be very dusty and overtaking is often tricky.

Scuderia Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi won the GP2 Sprint race here for Trust Team Arden in 2008. Bridgestone e-reporter finalist Kate Goodacre talks to him about returning to Hungary and life in Formula One.

Q: How is life in Formula One for you - is your first season going as you thought it would?

A: Yes, more or less. I think the team prepared me quite well for this season because they knew that we would have no tests. It's right as well that at the moment we are struggling with our pace, we are not so fast. But we know why and it should be better soon, especially with the new parts. So I'm very happy with how it goes.

Q: Do you think the time you spent racing in GP2 prepared you well for F1?

A: GP2 is the nearest category to F1. It prepares you very well because you learn how to work on a fast car with a lot of fuel and pit stops. These are all things which are very important in Formula One, and if you can practice them before then it's a lot better.

Q: Do you think driving in GP2 was a big part in securing an F1 drive?

A: I was part of the Red Bull Junior Programme, and I don't think they look at your results from only one season. For sure GP2 is the last step, and they need to see if you are able to do it or not. So Red Bull was looking at everything, however what I did in GP2 was very important.

Q: Moving onto Hungary, obviously last year you won the Sprint race there. Does the track mean a lot to you because of this and are you excited about going back?

A: Yeah. It's very different to the other circuits, because it's like the Monaco of the normal circuits. It's really tight and really slow. It's quite good to drive there because it's different. We had a good experience last year, we won the Sunday race and we were quite competitive. I'm looking forward to it this year, especially because we have new parts coming on the car with the double diffuser. This should be a very big step.

Q: Are there any special tyre considerations at the Hungaroring?

A: For Formula One we will drive with the super soft and the soft compound. I don't think the degradation will be so big, but with the super soft you always need to be a bit careful with it because you never know what can happen. It should be hot, like always there, and the super soft seems to work really well when it's hot, so I'm not so concerned.

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Lucas di Grassi , Sébastien Buemi
Teams Toro Rosso