With high temperatures and a twisty circuit layout the GP3 drivers had to look after their tyres at the Hungaroring: the oldest purpose-built facility on the calendar. The GP3 drivers benefitted from Pirelli’s soft compound tyre for the Hungaroring. Lotus driver Aaro Vainio used it to break the circuit’s GP3 lap record during qualifying, but his slow start in Saturday’s race one allowed Antonio Felix da Costa to continue a successful weekend for Carlin and win the race.
Da Costa took another brilliant win on Sunday morning, sealed when he picked exactly the right moment to change onto slicks on a slowly drying track. A downpour before the start of the GP3 sprint race meant that most teams started on wets, although nine drivers towards the back of the grid gambled on slicks from the beginning. Da Costa started from eighth on wets but had worked his way up to fifth when he pitted for slicks on lap eight of 16. Those who remained on wet tyres were lapping up to 10 seconds a lap slower than those on slicks at the end, allowing Da Costa to slice his way through the field and win by 11seconds.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola commented: “Da Costa’s spectacular win in the second GP3 race on Sunday was the result of judging the crossover point, where it is faster to move from wets to slicks, completely correctly and reacting instantly. With some drivers choosing to stick with wets – which still resisted well on a completely dry circuit – we saw a huge variety of strategies in play,which is unusual for the GP3 sprint race, but as always selecting the correct one was key to victory. Both championships are doing a fantastic job to prepare the drivers for what they will face next as their careers progress towards the pinnacle of the sport.”
Pirelli Press Release