Charles Leclerc Leads the Field in FP2 in Budapest

July 21, 2023Ramon Jones
Formula 1

Charles Leclerc led FP2 in dry conditions after the rain fell in FP1. The majority of the drivers did not go all out this session for race pace. Instead they appeared to be montioring tire management more closely. This is in part due to changes associated with the tire allocation for each session this weekend.

Pirelli Motorsport Director Mario Isola stated to, “The Hungarian Grand Prix has become a classic event of the Formula 1 summer season, and as such the air and asphalt temperatures, which are usually very high, are the main features. This puts the drivers, cars and tires to the test, not least because the twisting nature of the track does not allow anyone or anything to catch their breath.”

“With so many slow corners, traction is one of the key factors for good performance and the biggest risk is tire overheating. Despite being a permanent track, the Hungaroring is not used very often, and the asphalt conditions improve considerably during the weekend as the ideal racing line rubbers in.”

“Usually, this race is all about strategy and tire degradation. This year we have opted for a trio of softer compounds compared to 2022, while a new tire allocation for qualifying will be tried out for the first time, with the obligation to use just the hard in Q1, medium in Q2 and soft in Q3 if conditions stay dry. Both these changes, at least on paper, should lead to a wider range of options, particularly in terms of strategy. The [Alternative Tire Allocation] also saves two sets of dry tires compared to the traditional format and it will be run again at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. After that, the FIA, F1 and the teams will decide whether or not to adopt it for next season.”

We expect pace to pick up in FP3 ahead of qualifying. All of the drivers will likely be on soft tires to test out their qualifying programs. With front runners Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez we look to tomorrow for the fastest lap times before qualifying. We will report on qualifying results tomorrow.