The warmest grand prix weekend so far this year will also see occasional showers which could affect the action on-track.
The 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix started on a damp track. Red Bull had to frantically repairing Max Verstappen’s car on the grid, after he skated into a barrier during a reconnaissance lap.
Last year, with cloudy and rainy conditions the hottest session was the race, at 22C, which translated to a much cooler track temperature of only just over 18C at the start. Given clouds are predicted again, despite temperatures over 30C the track could well remain in the mid-to-low 20s.
Friday is predicted to see the hottest running this weekend, with temperatures up to a high of 34C. That should make second practice the warmest session of the weekend by some distance, although probably not too unrepresentative for qualifying or the race because despite a raised air temperature, conditions will be cloudy in the afternoon.
No rain is expected overnight before practice begins, so the track won’t be wet at the start of Friday’s running. However the risk of rain will rise to 60% on Saturday: A wet start to the day is expected, and though it should dry out for final practice, showers are expected in time for qualifying, and could be thundery.
The threat of rain on Sunday is receding, however, down to just 40% having been higher earlier in the week.
But the expected overnight rain on Friday will give the effect of ‘resetting’ track conditions, removing the rubber laid by F1 and its support series. We could see a decidedly greasy start to final practice, especially as ambient and track conditions are set to fall.
Although the air will still be warmer than last year’s grand prix, the relative drop in track temperature caused by cloud cover – as we saw at Paul Ricard earlier this season – could also fox some teams with tyre warm-up.
Wind speeds over the weekend will not be especially high, the gustiest session set to be qualifying at a possible 10-20 kilometres per hour, unlikely to trouble cars much around the relatively sheltered Hungaroring.
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2021 Hungarian Grand Prix
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