Tyres have been a big talking point at the Hungarian Grand Prix, with a rule change in Formula 1 and a new compound in Formula 3. What about Formula 2?
Pirelli has brought the same compounds to be used as in 2022, the soft and the medium. In last year’s F2 feature race, the winning strategy of ART Grand Prix driver Theo Pourchaire was to start on the soft tyres and go for a short opening stint before pitting to put on the medium tyres and run them to the finish.
But the alternative strategy also worked, as his team-mate Frederik Vesti waited until the final third of the race before pitting and it helped him finish fourth from seventh on the grid.
This weekend there has been rain that has washed away some of the rubber that has been laid down, but F2’s feature race is set to be dry and with high track temperatures.
Formula Scout asked Vesti, who now drives for Prema and is the championship leader, if last year’s winning stategy would work again.
“Just from general knowledge, I would say if you’re in the top five, the very natural thing is to start on the soft and then going on the medium later,” he replied.
“Just because you want to be safe, safer for the [possibility of the] safety car. You want to defend instead of attack in the race, etc.
“But I think just outside the top five people will start [with] mediums, and then go soft. It’s difficult to predict exactly, but for sure I think there will be more – this track, I think opens up the strategy more than some other tracks just due to the high tyre wear there is.
“I think we’re expecting more than 40° track temp at some point this weekend. So just with that, it means that the tyre wear is just going to be extremely high. And so it will be interesting for sure on Sunday to see how the race unfolds.”
After Saturday’s sprint race, winner Dennis Hauger spoke about the tyre management required during the pitstop-free 28-lap race. Today’s race will run to 37 laps, but will include a compulsory pitstop.
“In the middle of the race, it was just about managing and staying quite clean,” the MP Motorsport driver said. “Then you try and pick up the pace at the end, to see where you are at in terms of the tyres. It was not too bad, the groundwork we’ve done for this weekend has been good, especially for the race pace so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do tomorrow.”
He added: “It’s a long race and different strategies can play out. We’ll see.”
Overnight, Trident’s Clement Novalak received a five-place grid penalty for the feature race for colliding with Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung in the sprint race. It means that Novalak will start from 20th place today.