With a short break between
before hitting the summer break this weekends race at the Hungaroring comes
with much intrigue riding it, and many pretty Hungarian girls. Last weekend in Germany saw a magnificent Alonso
drive keep the car in one piece in wet qualifying allowing Ferrari strategy redemption
come race time. Biggest developments
were seen in McLaren's sudden rebirth of pace and Red Bull's engine map
infractions, which added up to another frustrating home Grand Prix for
The Hungaroring is now a standby of the Formula 1 calendar, for reasons perplexing to all. The race came about to cash in behind the Iron Curtain and the harsh communist birthing grounds left a dull track for Formula 1 to continue on for over 25 years. Sadly such a dull track wastes a stellar viewing area; the Hungaroring is situated in a valley allowing excellent views from anywhere along the circuit.
this time of year when the hot summer sun shines down, there is a moderate
chance of rain throughout the race weekend with the most likely precipitation
falling early morning Sunday, leaving the drivers with a green, potentially
still wet, track for the third race weekend in a row. Note that the first time the Hungarian Grand
Prix was hit with rain wasn't until 2006.
The track goes unused for the year leaving it very dusty and because the tarmac is situated in a valley of sandy soil it remains dusty even on race weekend. When mixed with the tight, twisty, and rough track this makes overtaking extremely difficult and only possible for the most opportunistic drivers, such as Nelson Piquet in 1986 as he drifted by Ayrton Senna through turn 1.
The front straight is the longest straight on the track and the location of the DRS zone for this years race. Turn 1 has been tightened and now counts as two corners in order to promote more overtaking. Drivers attack the sharp right hander in second gear heading through the slight bank through the obtuse turn 2. Next is a sprint to downhill turn 3 up to 4th gear for turn 4 heading onto a straight.
Turn 5 is a slight twitch right before the blind left turn 6, over bumps to the long turn 7. Drivers can catch a breath at the hard chicane making up turns 8 and 9 before twisting left through turn 10, right through 11, flat out through the slight right of turn 12, to turn 13. Here the track breaks from its old path and heads straight down, almost perpendicular to the main straight, into a "paper clip" for turns 14, 15, and 16 before shooting back onto the main straight to complete the lap.
The Hungaroring echoes much of
Monaco with the tight, windy,
nature resulting in limited passing.
Recent memory is fresh with Felipe Massa's freak accident in 2009 and a
demonstration of the lack of compound differentiation from Bridgestone in 2010
when Mark Webber made a set of softs last over 40 laps to take an easy
The banning of Red Bull's engine maps will be one of the main plots for the weekend, many wonder if the RB8's speed in
Valencia and Silverstone was due to
the mapping and not any hard updates to the car itself. Webber's inability to get anything going in Germany
after a 5 place grid penalty hint that the engine maps could very likely have
been responsible for the significant gains.
Practice will soon be underway before a mad mad mad mad weekend as everyone looks to head off onto the summer break with a strong finish to their names. Team by team breakdown and predictions to come shortly, stay tuned!