The summer break is nearly upon us. The Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend is the last chance for teams and drivers to gather some points before the traditional summer hols. So, whats the story going into this year’s race?
The driver’s title is firmly in the balance heading into Hungary, with Sebastian Vettel only one point ahead of rival Lewis Hamilton. After Vettel’s calamitous British Grand Prix two weeks ago, he, and Ferrari, need to bounce back here. There are already murmurings in the paddock that Ferrari can’t keep pace in the development race with Mercedes, and with Vettel, himself, only having won once in Hungary, he and the team are truly under the pump. We expect some sort of fightback from the prancing horse and the four time World Champion.
As for Hamilton and Mercedes, there couldn’t be a track they would like to visit more, in this position, than the twisty Hungaroring. No one has won more times around the circuit just outside of Budapest than Hamilton, who has five wins to his name. There is also the possibility that the Brit could equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 68 pole positions if he manages to be first on the grid on Sunday. With the wind in his sails, an incredible record of wins here, the prospect of equalling the poles record and the championship lead, Hamilton will be tough to beat.
RedBull have been there or there about’s this season and they are hoping to close the gap even further with a raft of upgrades delivered to them by the genius that is Adria Newey. Driver, Daniel Ricciardo believes this could be their weekend. “The circuit always seems to suit us,” the Australian says, “and I like it a lot, but also by that stage we should have a pretty good car aerodynamically under us.”
McLaren, too, is optimistic the slow, twisty track can give them some points this season. At least, Fernando Alonso is optimistic. “On paper, the Hungaroring presents one of the best opportunities for us this year – the short, twisty circuit means we are less reliant on outright power, and the drivers have to really depend on the capabilities of the chassis to get the best out of the lap,” the Spaniard says. As always with McLaren, it’s a question of if their car can complete all the laps needed to finish in a points scoring position.
The Hungaroring is one of the slowest and twistiest on the calendar, it is also incredibly difficult to overtake, suggesting a dull race. However, the Hungarian Grand Prix always manages to contest an interesting race, and with the title race so finely balanced, this year’s edition could be the most important race this season.
Pole: Too good an opportunity for Lewis to pass up. Pole for him and a record equalled.
Winner: Lights to flag victory for Lewis, fight at the start with Vettel, but eventually takes control and extends his record wins here.
Second & Third: Vettel follows Hamilton across the line. We reckon a RedBull will get up there, but we can’t decide between Max and Daniel. We’ll go with Max, he is due some luck.