Mercedes is anticipating that the new tyre regulations that will be in play this weekend in Budapest will only add to the challenge of a Formula 1 race event.

All teams will have 11 sets of tyres to use during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, and in qualifying, Hards must be used in Q1, Mediums in Q2, and Softs are mandated for Q3.

The regulation was originally scheduled to debut at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix earlier this year before its cancellation.

The main reason behind the change is to decrease the number of tyres Pirelli brings to a race weekend.

“It will definitely add to the challenge,” said Mercedes’ Senior Race Strategy Engineer, Joseph McMillan. 

“When it comes to qualifying, we are usually focused on how we get the best out of the soft tyre on a single lap. 

“That includes assessing what the optimum tyre preparation is, what the best out lap profile looks like, among other things. We now must think about that for three different compounds.”

However, as Pirelli is bringing its softest possible range to the event, McMillan expects it will ease the pressure on the teams.

“They’ve brought the softest compounds possible,” he said. “Last year, we saw the C2, C3, and C4 tyres here but this year, we will use the C3, C4, and C5. 

“So although it’s the hard tyre, that corresponds to last year’s medium and that will help.”

Mercedes also expects that a knock-on effect of the new tyre rules will be more strategy options for the grand prix.

“With more sets of the Medium and Hard tyre than we usually take, we will likely end up with a tyre allocation for the Grand Prix that looks much nicer than at other races,” McMillan said.

“The soft C5 is highly unlikely to be a race tyre. The edium and hard compound will likely be preferred and, with more sets of those to play with, we should be in a better position than usual.

“Normally, we must commit to whether we want a second hard tyre, a second medium, or a soft tyre. 

“At several races this year, we have opted to save a second set of new hard tyres for the race. 

“Whilst this does not come into play strategically, it’s a major decision all teams must make. 

“This will likely not be the case in Budapest though, and post-qualifying, we will have an ability to select our strategy without some of those limitations we usually have”.

The format will be trialled once again at the Italian Grand Prix in September.

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