Hungarian Grand Prix Preview: The show must go on

Lewis Hamilton, Charlie Wright, Kettle Mag
Written by F1_Charlie

This weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix is the first race since the tragic passing of Jules Bianchi. Bianchi succumbed to the injuries that he suffered at the Japanese Grand Prix where the Marussia driver lost control of his car and collided with a recovery vehicle in October. He was placed into an induced coma until July 17th.

Everybody’s thoughts are with the friends and family of one of the sports brightest stars and someone that was destined to be a world champion one day. We are all thinking of him at this time, all the team this weekend have tributes on their cars as well as on the helmets of the drivers. He already is and will be sorely missed by everybody, not just in the paddock but, around the world.

With that said Jules would have wanted the show to go on and that it will.

It is regarded by many as Monaco without the walls. It is also a circuit that is quite difficult to overtake on even with DRS, however that did not stop Lewis Hamilton from charging from the pitlane to the podium last year. Although Mercedes are the team to beat this weekend, Red Bull have a great chance of getting a strong result this weekend. The lack of power from the Renault engine will not be such a disadvantage in Hungary at a circuit that rewards high downforce.

Hamilton claimed his third win at the British Grand Prix. Hungary is also a happy hunting ground for the championship leader. The defending champion has won around the tight and twisty Hungaroring four times and is level in terms of victories at this famous venue with Michael Schumacher.  

This weekend marks the final race before the summer break and now would be the perfect time for Nico Rosberg to put a dent in Hamilton’s seventeen point championship lead. There was a point during the British Grand Prix where it looked as if it was only a matter of time before Rosberg would take the lead from Hamilton. Fortunately for the home crowd, Hamilton pitted for intermediate tyres at the perfect moment and went on to win the race. A win for Rosberg here could completely swing the Mercedes momentum over to Rosberg’s side of the garage.

But behind the Mercedes, what can we expect?

Williams had a torrid time in Monaco and left the streets of the principality pointless. The team feel as if they have come a long way since the race in Monte Carlo and are confident of a strong points finish this weekend, Williams are currently in good form. Valtteri Bottas scored a podium in Montreal, Felipe Massa took home 3rd place in Austria and the team perhaps were unlucky not to win the British Grand Prix after Massa jumped into the lead on the opening lap and was leading team-mate Bottas in the early stages.

McLaren have been given a free new engine and have decided to use it on both cars this weekend. Fresh from scoring his first points finish at Silverstone, Fernando Alonso believes that the team are improving and we could see the Honda power unit in full power for the first time this weekend. For Jenson Button who many believe is fighting for his seat, this race couldn’t have come at a better time, the Brit having won twice in Hungary in the past including his first ever win in 2006 in tricky conditions and another in rain in 2011 for McLaren.

Ferrari could be in for a strong weekend due to the track characteristics and the hotter temperatures if the track stays dry, could we be on for a repeat of the Malaysian Grand Prix when Mercedes could not get anywhere near the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel? His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen is in need of a strong showing as rumours regarding his seat potentially being up for grabs refuse to die down.

With overtaking difficult in Hungary, qualifying on Saturday is one of the most important sessions of the year. Who do you think will taste victory this weekend? Leave your predictions below.