Just one week after Fernando Alonso’s superb victory at the German Grand Prix, the Ferrari driver will resume his quest to land a third Formula One Drivers’ World Championship title at the Hungaroring, the scene of his first grand prix victory.
The Hungarian Grand Prix has been on the F1 calendar since 1986 and the tight and twisting confines of the track present teams with a challenge similar to that encountered in Monaco – how to maximise high-downforce performance.
With 14 corners and just one real straight, teams will be aiming for high levels of aerodynamic grip but will also be looking for optimum levels of mechanical grip. Pirelli will bring its Medium and Soft tyres to Hungary. However, finding good grip here isn’t easy. The circuit is used infrequently and as such grip levels are always low at the start of the weekend. The evolving nature of the track makes finding the perfect set-up difficult.
The weather also plays its part. Hungary can be punishingly hot in midsummer and the high temperatures mean tyre degradation and wear rates can be a factor.
As mentioned, the Hungaroring holds good memories for Fernando Alonso, but a number of title contenders will be hoping to colour the Ferrari driver’s perception of the circuit. In the title race, Alonso may be 34 points ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber and a further 10 clear of defending champion Sebastian Vettel but a single mistake through any of the circuit’s snaking turns could see that lead eroded in an instant.
For the championship leader it will simply be a case of recapturing past glories and if he can do that he will go into F1’s traditional post-Hungary break with a commanding championship lead. It should be a fascinating race.
Length of lap
4.381km Lap record
Ferrari, 2004) Start line/finish line offset 0.040km Total number of race laps
70 Total race distance
306.630km Pitlane speed limits
60km/h during practice,
100km/h during qualifying and race