F1 heads to Budapest in Hungary for the final race before the summer break. After one of the fastest and most flowing circuits of Silverstone the Hungaroring circuit offers up a different challenge. Slower and more technical the corners flow into one another with limited overtaking opportunities making a good qualifying session very important.
The weather always plays a significant part with usually high temperatures that have an effect on the power units and aerodynamic set up of the cars as well as the tyres. If the balance of the car is wrong the long loaded corners can stress the front tyres leading to graining and hot conditions can have a significant effect on thermal degradation, so tyre management can make a real difference.
There will be an air of sadness surrounding proceedings at Hungary this weekend following Tuesday’s farewell to French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi at his funeral in his hometown of Nice. As a mark of respect his car number, 17, is being retired from Formula 1 in his honour.
Thanks to the twisty nature of the track the Hungaroring consists mainly of continuous slow to mid-speed corners and the lack of long straights and full-throttle sectors makes it less strenuous on the power units compared with other tracks. This, therefore fits in well with Honda’s aim to get energy management and full use of ERS sorted by the end of the first half of the season.
Both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button won their first grand prix in Hungary so they return with fond memories of the Hungaroring circuit, which, alongside McClaren’s steady technical progress and odds of 2.75 and 3.00 on offer from Coral for a points finish they could well be worth a punt.