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Drivers ready for twisty, hot Hungary trial

"I am very much looking forward to Budapest!" he added. "I have always been fast on this track, which is very demanding as you never have a break given its layout. I also think that the Hungaroring will be very hard on tyres. Additionally it's a track where overtaking is really difficult and the only spot to do so is on the straight."

Pirelli are opting to provide all the GP2 teams with the medium and supersoft compounds for Hungary. With its bumpy, dusty, tight and twisty layout leading to high tyre degradation during races, the Hungaroring is the slowest permanent circuit on the 2012 calendar, making it resemble the Monaco street circuit more than anything else.

"Hungaroring is very difficult track, it is very bumpy," agreed Barwa Addax driver Josef Kràl. "It is quite narrow and short so it will be all about the qualifying because then it is very difficult to overtake. I won there a race when I was in Formula Master so I hope this experience will help me."

"Hungary could become one of the most strategic races in GP2 so far this season," mused Pirelli's racing manager, Mario Isola. "While the supersoft provides a notable degree of extra performance, we are expecting most teams to base their race strategies on the medium, which benefits from a lot more durability.

"If the teams use just one compound for the race, they may be able to get away with just changing the minimum of two tyres in the pits – rather than all four tyres, which would need to be changed if switching to a different compound," he added. "These are all factors that need to be carefully evaluated and considered."

There are no further driver changes expected in the line-up, other than Daniël de Jong returning to the Rapax car after missing last week's Hockenheim round while competing in the AutoGP World Series in Brazil. That means Tom Dillmann will once again be on the sidelines.

The weather for Friday's practice and qualifying sessions looks reasonably set, with the forecast pointing toward partly cloudy conditions and highs around 31C (88F). However, an increasing chance of thunderstorms during Saturday could see the afternoon feature race affected by rain; a similar outlook for Sunday might mean a dry GP2 sprint race will be followed by a rain-affected F1 Grand Prix.

'The weather looks interesting this weekend with the heat and thunderstorms predicted," agreed Carlin driver Max Chilton. "But I'm hoping for a dry and consistent track and I want to pick up two good finishes here which I know we are more than capable of."

The Friday morning practice session is scheduled for 10.55am after F1 Free Practice 1, and the qualifying session for 3pm after FP2. The 39-lap feature race 1 on Saturday afternoon is scheduled to get underway at 2.40pm after Grand Prix qualifying, and the Sunday morning 28-lap sprint race 2 at 9.35am.

All sessions are scheduled to be shown live on Sky Sports F1.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rio Haryanto (INA, Dams) at the GP2 Final in Abu Dhabi - November 2011. [Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Max Chilton (GBR, Carlin) during GP2 testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain in October 2011. [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic.]
Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering). Portrait. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Josef Kral (CZE, Barwa Addax Team) (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
2012 GP2 Series. Round 9. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. 26th July 2012 - Turn two. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
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Gustav Malja - Racing Engineering [credit: GP2 Series]
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