The Hungarian Grand Prix has been on the Formula One calendar since 1986, with the circuit having been purpose built for the sport.
Lewis Hamilton goes into the weekend having won his home race at Silverstone where he reduced the championship gap to just a point. Nico Rosberg has led from the start of the season but the momentum is currently with Hamilton. The three leading teams at the minute – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – have all won at the circuit at the Hungaroring in the past.
Number of Laps: 70
Number of Corners: 14
Lap Record: 1:19.071 Michael Schumacher (2004)
Previous Hungarian Grand Prix winners still on the grid: 6
Most Successful Team: McLaren (11 wins)
DRS Zones: 2
Pirelli Tyres: Medium, Soft and Supersoft
The circuit has been resurfaced for the 2016 event and Pirelli have brought the Medium, Soft and Supersoft compound tyres. Thermal degradation can be an issue due to the high temperatures normally experienced. The Hungaroring requires an emphasis on mechanical grip with a number of low speed corners. It has a low average speed while brake wear is medium.
It is often compared to Monaco due to being a tight and twisty track, although obviously there is a lot more run off. This means that drivers normally place a lot of emphasis on qualifying as track position can be key.
The championship is finely poised at the top with just a point separating Hamilton and Rosberg. Kimi Raikkonen is third, six points ahead of Daniel Ricciardo with Sebastian Vettel just eight points ahead of Max Verstappen. Last year saw the Mercedes duo suffer a number of misfortunes allowing Vettel to win. He had been leading a Ferrari 1-2 before Raikkonen unfortunately retired. Daniil Kvyat and Ricciardo were second and third respectively. Ricciardo has previously won the race in 2014.
A number of drivers in Formula One history took their first wins in the sport at the Hungaroring including Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso. Following Button’s highs in Austria, the team were disappointed to finish 12th and 13th in tricky conditions at Silverstone. They scored their best results of the season last year in Hungary so will no doubt be trying to repeat their form this year.
Both Williams drivers finished outside the points at the British Grand Prix while both Force India drivers finished in the points. There are 19 points between the two teams and Force India are aiming to close the gap and claim fourth in the constructors championship. Ferrari are just six points ahead of Red Bull while Mercedes are well clear at the top.
Kimi Raikkonen will drive for Ferrari next season it has been confirmed.
There had been much speculation over the Finnish driver’s future, with drivers such as Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean being linked to his seat. The team has put an end to all the rumours by confirming that Raikkonen will race for the team for a seventh season.
They released the following short statement:
Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has renewed its technical and racing agreement with Kimi Raikkonen. The driver line-up for the 2017 racing season will still consist of the Finnish driver and Sebastian Vettel.
Raikkonen first joined Ferrari in 2007 and we went on to win his first – and only – World Championship. He left the team, and F1, at the end of the 2009 season before returning to the sport in 2012.He returned to Ferrari in 2014 and he has raced with the Scuderia ever since.
During his time at Ferrari he has won nine races, stood on the podium 33 times, and started from pole position five times. This weekend’s British Grand Prix will be his 100th with the team.
From 2017 onwards Pirelli will be introducing a wider tyre in line with the new regulations.
Pirelli have already been carrying out tyre testing with Ferrari and Red Bull but using the current tyre widths with prototype materials and structures. The testing has been carried out at Fiorano and Paul Ricard, and three more circuits are set to join the testing calendar.
There will be ten sessions over 24 days in which the 2017 tyres will be tested, starting with a two day event at Fiorano with Ferrari. This will take place on 1st & 2nd of August on an artificially dampened track to test the intermediate and full wet tyres. On 3rd & 4th August Red Bull will test the slick tyres for the first time at Mugello. The testing will take place using modified 2015 specification cars. Three teams will initially take part in the testing – Ferrari and Red Bull being joined by Mercedes. They will be obliged to share all the data gathered during the tests with all other teams.
The testing schedule will be as follows:
- August 1st & 2nd – Ferrari – Fiorano – Wets
- August 3rd & 4th – Red Bull – Mugello – Slicks
- September 6th & 7th – Ferrari – Barcelona – Slicks
- September 6th – 8th – Mercedes – Paul Ricard – Slicks
- September 21st & 22nd – Mercedes – Paul Ricard – Wets
- October 12th & 13th – Mercedes – Barcelona – Slicks
- October 14th – 16th – Red Bull – Abu Dhabi – Slicks
- November 2nd & 3rd – Red Bull – Abu Dhabi – Wets
- November 14th – 16th – Ferrari – Abu Dhabi – Slicks
- November 29th – ALL TEAMS – Abu Dhabi – Both
The test day at Abu Dhabi at the end of the season will see all 11 teams get to trial the 2017 spec tyres – which will be 60mm wider for the front tyres and 80mm wider for the rear tyres – to validate the data from the previous tests.
As well as the aforementioned specific tyre test dates the following tests will also take place:
- 12th & 13th July – Mercedes – Silverstone – Slicks
- 16th July – Ferrari – Fiorano – Wets
- 18th & 19th July – Red Bull – Vallelunga – Slicks
These are with the prototype 2016 spec tyres, and not the 2017 tyres. Mercedes will carry out this testing during the official Silverstone test at which ten other teams will be present.
Lewis Hamilton won the Austrian Grand Prix despite a last lap incident with his team-mate.
It was the British driver who started from pole position with Nico Rosberg starting sixth following a gearbox penalty. Hamilton maintained his lead at the start with Nico Hulkenberg, who also started on the front row, dropping down the order. Jenson Button – starting a season best third for McLaren – slotted into second and was able to keep Kimi Raikkonen behind him for seven laps of the race.
Ferrari were looking strong, having started the race on a different tyre compound to the Mercedes duo. Following pit-stops it was Sebastian Vettel who led but a tyre blow-out on lap 27 put him out of the race. Raikkonen’s own stop had dropped him behind the Red Bull pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen which compromised his afternoon.
Hamilton lost out to team-mate Rosberg, who pitted first, and from there on in it looked like Rosberg’s race to lose. Having won on the previous two occasions Formula One has visited the Red Bull Ring – since its return to the calendar in 2014 – it looked like the German driver could be making it a hat-trick, despite losing out in qualifying. Hamilton closed the gap and on the last lap it became apparent that he was close enough to make a pass.
The pair collided after Rosberg failed to leave Hamilton enough space – not the first time the two of them have come to blows on the race track. Hamilton emerged unscathed after being forced wide while Rosberg’s front wing came loose. He was subsequently given a ten second penalty and a reprimand for causing a collision and not pitting an unsafe car.
Hamilton continued to win the race while Rosberg limped home in fourth – his penalty not affecting his finishing position. Joining Hamilton on the podium were Verstappen and Raikkonen. Ricciardo finished fifth ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button who finished a credible sixth having started third. Romain Grosjean returned to points with Haas in seventh ahead of Carlos Sainz and Valtteri Bottas. Pascal Wehrlein picked up his first ever points in Formula One with a tenth place finish – Manor’s first point since Monaco 2014. Sergio Perez had been running in tenth before brake failure caused his retirement in the closing stages of the race.
Joining Perez on the sidelines were team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Daniil Kvyat and Vettel.
The next race is the British Grand Prix which will take place at Silverstone this weekend.
Having seen his lead slashed to just nine points in the last two races, Nico Rosberg took back the championship advantage with a win at the European Grand Prix.
It was the first race held at the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan and it was Rosberg who took pole position before going on to win the race. He was never really challenged at the front and set the fastest lap on the way to his fifth win of the year.
Anticipation was high at the start of the race – as it is at any new circuit – with many expecting at least a safety car. All 22 drivers made it relatively unscathed through the first corner although there was some contact. There were no safety cars throughout the race and the four retirements came as a result of car failures, rather than driver errors.
Behind Rosberg it was Sebastian Vettel who finished second, finishing ahead of Sergio Perez. The Mexican driver had qualified in second but was demoted to seventh following a gearbox change as a result of an accident in free practice. He fought back and pulled off a late move on Kimi Raikkonen to secure his second podium of the season.
Raikkonen had picked up a five second penalty during the race due to crossing the white line on the entrance to the pit-lane. He had been running in third but without a five second gap to Perez in fourth, he would have dropped behind the Force India anyway. Lewis Hamilton finished in fifth having spent a lot of the race on the radio to his engineer complaining about a problem. Due to the radio bans – which restrict engineers from specifically telling their driver what to do – Hamilton was unable to fix the issue, and it eventually resolved itself. It was a day of damage limitation as he had started tenth following a qualifying crash.
Behind Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas was the leading Williams home ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg. Felipe Massa picked up the final point by finishing in tenth.
Jenson Button was just outside the points in eleventh with team-mate – and European Grand Prix ambassador – Fernando Alonso retiring with nine laps remaining. Felipe Nasr finished in twelfth ahead of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, who had started from the pit-lane. Jolyon Palmer, Esteban Gutierrez, Marcus Ericsson and Rio Haryanto were the remaining race finishers.
Joining Alonso on the sidelines was Pascal Wehrlein who retired his Manor with brake issues. Both Toro Rossos endured suspension issues and were forced to retire – Daniil Kvyat in the first ten laps and Carlos Sainz after 30.
The result means Rosberg now has a 24 point lead over Hamilton as they head to Austria where Rosberg has won the last two races.