Budapest: Game on in the championship

Budapest: Game on in the championship

25 July 2012 – The Hungaroring is known as tight, twisty, complex and boring. The people who say such things have probably not been watching closely enough, as the circuit on the outskirts of Budapest has hosted a few of the most exciting Grands Prix in recent years. Once again, it has the job of kick-starting the second half of an F1 campaign.

Hungary debuted on the F1 calendar in 1986. Back then, Nélson Piquet slid his way past Ayrton Senna for victory on the outside of Turn 1. Last year, in his 200th Grand Prix start, Jenson Button picked up his second win of the season; it’s possible a similar result could come out of this weekend because McLaren are back in touch.

Here we go...the second half of F1 2012 promises to be absolutely scintillating

Who would have expected Button to chase down and challenge Fernando Alonso for the win in Germany? No, neither did I. The McLaren upgrades – notably new sidepods and a rear wing – paid dividends and more new parts are being finished in Woking this week, ready to ship straight out to the Carpathian Basin.

What cost McLaren at Hockenheim was the wet qualifying session. Button could manage no more than seventh in Q3 and – while that meant he out-qualified Lewis Hamilton for the first time this year – it simply was not good enough. Alonso did a superb job of controlling a race from pole and, just as Juan Manuel Fangio would have recommended, won at the slowest possible speed without damaging his tyres. We saw Hamilton suffer a puncture before catching Alonso and Sebastian Vettel when a lap down – and that was all the proof we needed that McLaren are back.

Alonso will lead the championship as we head into the summer break. A quite sensational thought when you consider that his best qualifying lap for the Australian Grand Prix was one and a half seconds slower than the Hamilton pole time. That’s massive. Ferrari’s recovery has been staggering but they are still more aware than anybody that the improvement isn’t enough yet, not least as McLaren are renowned in-season developers and that the silver cars are already threatening once again.

2006: Button clinches a maiden career win for Honda

For us F1 reporters and fans alike, the most exciting fact is that we still have just as many races to run as we have already seen in 2012…and that means just as many surprises. The only difference is that we now start a ten-race scrap with a championship order to go by, whereas in Melbourne it was zeros all round. So, just who will be quickest in Hungary? Of the eight races held there since 2005, McLaren have won five, meaning history is in their favour just as the current form is. One huge outside factor is the weather…most of us expected a bright and boiling few days, but the forecasters are not ruling out a few spots of rain!

Can Ferrari keep up their great run? It will be harder this time. As highlighted by Alonso himself, the Hungaroring is only 2.7 miles long – equating to a 70-lap race – meaning that the times will be even tighter than usual. You can rest assured that the Spaniard will be more than pleased if he manages a front row start, with the like of McLaren and Red Bull to contend with. We should also watch out for Lotus, who excel in the hot conditions, and yet more Red Bull engine mapping stories…

One final note. In the last decade, only one man has prevented the pole-sitter from leading into the second corner in Hungary. That was Felipe Massa, at the wheel of a Ferrari in 2008. Is anyone brave enough to bet against them this time?

At a glance:

- Hungaroring pole position sitters
- Hungaroring Grand Prix winners

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The facts: Hungaroring
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Michael Schumacher holds the Hungaroring lap record

Laps 70

Direction Clockwise

Corners 14

Length 4.381 km / 2.722 mi

First championship race 1986

First winner Nélson Piquet – Williams-Honda

Lap record 1:19.071 / M. Schumacher / Ferrari / 2004

Local start time 2pm (BST +1)

Slick Pirelli tyre compounds
Medium (white markings) & Soft (yellow markings)

DRS zone

Detection: 5 metres before Turn 14
Activation: 70 metres after Turn 14, along the start/finish straight

FIA driver steward
Danny Sullivan

2011 pole position sitter
Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull-Renault

2011 Grand Prix winner
Jenson Button – McLaren-Mercedes
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Circuit changes for 2012
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Track resurfaced at final corner, Turn 14
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Gregory Haines
GPUpdate.net Editor

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 1 August 2014

  2. Video of the Day: Factory to the race track 05:00

    Video of the Day: Factory to the race track

    UPS, Ferrari's Logistics & Shipping Partner, highlights the journey from the factory to the race track.

    F1
  3. Thursday 31 July 2014

  4. Ferrari announces Marmorini departure 15:27

    Ferrari announces Marmorini departure

    Ferrari has announced that Luca Marmorini, Director of the Engine and Electronics, has left the team. Speculation had...

    F1
  5. 13:00

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  6. Video: F1 2014 announcement trailer 11:14

    Video: F1 2014 announcement trailer

    Codemasters has released a trailer for F1 2014, coming to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on October 17. 2015 will see the...

    F1
  7. Wolff: Team orders masking reliability issues 09:49

    Wolff: Team orders masking reliability issues

    Toto Wolff reckons the team orders controversy at the Hungarian Grand Prix has masked significant reliability problems at...

    F1
  8. Ecclestone backtracks on Briatore input 07:00

    Ecclestone backtracks on Briatore input

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has seemingly backtracked on plans to involve ex-team boss Flavio Briatore in a new...

    F1
  9. Video of the Day: Mercedes duo in new advert 05:00

    Video of the Day: Mercedes duo in new advert

    Mercedes team-mates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton star in the German brand's latest TV advert.

    F1
  10. Wednesday 30 July 2014

  11. Formula E postpones Malaysian round 17:33

    Formula E postpones Malaysian round

    The Malaysian round of the inaugural Formula E campaign has been postponed by five weeks. The event, to be staged in the...

    Formula E
  12. Ex-Caterham staff hit back at team 14:02

    Ex-Caterham staff hit back at team

    The ex-Caterham staff seeking compensation for unfair dismissal have hit back at a team statement. On Monday, around 40...

    F1
  13. Mallya: Force India can catch Williams 13:22

    Mallya: Force India can catch Williams

    Vijay Mallya is hopeful that Force India will be able to reclaim fourth in the Constructors' Championship from Williams...

    F1
  14. Red Bull increases Repsol Honda backing 12:55

    Red Bull increases Repsol Honda backing

    Energy drink company Red Bull has increased its partnership with Honda's factory MotoGP team. After nine years of...

    MotoGP
  15. Video: No 2014 highlights for Räikkönen 12:19

    Video: No 2014 highlights for Räikkönen

    Kimi Räikkönen delivers a typically dry response when asked for his highlights of the 2014 season so far.

    F1
  16. Ecclestone vows to scrap standing restarts 11:06

    Ecclestone vows to scrap standing restarts

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has vowed to remove standing restarts from the 2015 regulations, just over a month after...

    F1
  17. Gutiérrez set to begin Sauber contract talks 10:32

    Gutiérrez set to begin Sauber contract talks

    Esteban Gutiérrez says he plans to open contract extension talks with Sauber in the coming weeks. Gutiérrez, a former GP3...

    F1
  18. Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - Hungary 09:20

    Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - Hungary

    Especially for lovers of motorsport photography, GPUpdate.net is this season running a feature series entitled Story behind...

    F1
  19. Video of the Day: Chilton looks to Singapore 05:00

    Video of the Day: Chilton looks to Singapore

    Marussia's Max Chilton put in an appearance at the recent 'Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix Experience' in London's...

    F1
  20. Tuesday 29 July 2014

  21. Caterham takes legal action against ex-staff 17:24

    Caterham takes legal action against ex-staff

    The Caterham F1 team is to take legal action against a number of its former employees laid off earlier this month, it has...

    F1
  22. Tost: Too many deficiencies on reliability front 17:11

    Tost: Too many deficiencies on reliability front

    Franz Tost says Toro Rosso must improve its reliability during the second half of the Formula 1 season. Jean-Éric Vergne...

    F1
  23. We have raised our game, says Renault 16:09

    We have raised our game, says Renault

    Renault believes it has "raised its game" in recent races, but admits there is still a need for improvement. Daniel...

    F1
  24. Ecclestone moves to end German lawsuit early 15:01

    Ecclestone moves to end German lawsuit early

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has offered to pay BayernLB £20 million if it drops the bribery case against him, his...

    F1
  25. Red Bull has 'overachieved in many aspects' 14:12

    Red Bull has 'overachieved in many aspects'

    Christian Horner reckons Red Bull has "overachieved in many respects" this season, despite the massive 174-point difference...

    F1
  26. Kubica ready for 'Finnish Grand Prix' outing 12:51

    Kubica ready for 'Finnish Grand Prix' outing

    Former BMW and Renault F1 driver Robert Kubica will tackle Rally Finland this week buoyed by his maiden victory at the wheel...

    WRC
  27. Ferrari dismiss reports Fry has been sacked 11:31

    Ferrari dismiss reports Fry has been sacked

    Ferrari has refuted claims that it has parted company with Engineering Director, Pat Fry. According to Sky Sports, Fry...

    F1
  28. 11:00

    Photos: Hungarian GP in black and white

    F1
  29. Jones: Ricciardo grows horns when it counts 10:41

    Jones: Ricciardo grows horns when it counts

    Former Formula 1 World Champion Alan Jones reckons fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo has proved that he is capable of...

    F1
  30. Hamilton: I will come back stronger after break 09:49

    Hamilton: I will come back stronger after break

    Lewis Hamilton says he will use Formula 1's summer break to "re-energise" himself and get even "fitter" in a bid to become a...

    F1
  31. Winners and Losers at the Hungarian Grand Prix 08:00

    Winners and Losers at the Hungarian Grand Prix

    The Hungaroring produced a thrilling encounter ahead of the Formula 1 summer break, with Red Bull sensation Daniel Ricciardo...

    F1
  32. Video of the Day: Arsenal vs Force India – Part 1 05:00

    Video of the Day: Arsenal vs Force India – Part 1

    See what happened when Gatorade brought Arsenal and Force India together.

    F1
  33. Monday 28 July 2014

  34. Porsche SA buys Kyalami circuit at auction 15:00

    Porsche SA buys Kyalami circuit at auction

    South Africa's Kyalami circuit, which hosted F1 for almost two decades, has been bought by Porsche. The 72-hectare...

    F1
  35. Post-race penalties hand Marciello point 14:32

    Post-race penalties hand Marciello point

    Racing Engineering driver and Ferrari youngster Raffaele Marciello has moved into the points for the second Hungaroring GP2...

    GP2
  36. Horner lauds 'truly sensational' Ricciardo 13:31

    Horner lauds 'truly sensational' Ricciardo

    Christian Horner has heaped praise on Hungarian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo for delivering a "truly sensational"...

    F1
  37. Mattiacci: We must not delude ourselves 12:39

    Mattiacci: We must not delude ourselves

    Marco Mattiacci says Ferrari must keep its feet firmly on the ground after claiming a sizeable points haul at the Hungarian...

    F1
  38. Video: Rosberg reflects on Hungarian GP 11:07

    Video: Rosberg reflects on Hungarian GP

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg reflects on an eventful Hungarian Grand Prix, which included a costly Safety Car period, a team...

    F1
  39. Villeneuve: Rosberg tried to ruin Hamilton's race 10:47

    Villeneuve: Rosberg tried to ruin Hamilton's race

    Jacques Villeneuve believes that Nico Rosberg tried to "destroy" Lewis Hamilton's Hungarian Grand Prix. Rosberg was...

    F1
  40. Caterham team facing legal action from ex-staff 10:10

    Caterham team facing legal action from ex-staff

    The Caterham F1 team is facing legal action from around 40 former employees, laid off earlier this month. Since Tony...

    F1
  41. Sutil positive despite narrowly missing point 09:32

    Sutil positive despite narrowly missing point

    Adrian Sutil extracted the positives after narrowly missing out on his and Sauber's first point of the season at the...

    F1
  42. Lauda backs Hamilton over team orders 09:02

    Lauda backs Hamilton over team orders

    Mercedes Non-Executive Chairman Niki Lauda says Lewis Hamilton was completely within his rights to ignore instructions to...

    F1
  43. Räikkönen says sixth was maximum result 07:23

    Räikkönen says sixth was maximum result

    Kimi Räikkönen says finishing sixth in the Hungarian Grand Prix was the most he could have hoped for after a disastrous q...

    F1
  44. Video of the Day: Stories from Senna's mechanic 05:14

    Video of the Day: Stories from Senna's mechanic

    Neil Trundle, former Chief Mechanic to Ayrton Senna, discusses his time working with a legend of the sport.

    F1
  45. 03:06

    Championship standings after Hungary

    F1
more news