Lewis Hamilton Wins Using a One-Stop Ultrasoft-Soft Tire Strategy

July 30, 2018

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest from the pole using a one-stop ultrasoft-soft tire strategy.

Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari used an alternative one-stop soft-ultrasoft tire strategy to finish second from fourth on the grid. A similar strategy was used by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo to climb from 12th to fourth. Kimi Raikkonen, the other Ferrari Formula 1 driver, went for a two-stopper, finishing on the podium.

Track temperatures were extremely high throughout the grand prix, having peaked at 140-degrees Fahrenheit just before the race start.

All the teams apart from Haas will now remain in Hungary for the second in-season test on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Toro Rosso running a second car for two days to assess Pirelli’s 2019 prototype tires.

Mario Isola, Pirelli's head of car racing

"With a wet qualifying session yesterday, the teams had a free choice of slick tires to start the race, which led to some split strategies," said Isola. "In particular, Vettel went in a different direction from his key rivals, which enabled him to make progress from his grid position, as was the case with Ricciardo as well.

"The data that the teams collected from Friday was reliable enough to formulate their race strategies, with the track having effectively reset itself after the rain. Consequently, we saw a few different tactics throughout the field, with the teams making good use of all three tire compounds, which stood up well to track temperatures that were close to the highest we have ever seen."


Lewis Hamilton won the race using the optimal one-stop strategy as we predicted, swapping the ultrasoft for the soft tire at the end of lap 25. His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who eventually finished fifth, used a similar strategy, but with a much longer final stint on the soft tire.