F1: 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix Preview
(Photo: Getty Images/Octane)

F1: 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix Preview

Can Ferrari end their 2019 duck before the summer break at a track where they have faired well over recent years?

broganclasper
Brogan Clasper

Runaway leader Lewis Hamilton will be aiming to bounce back before the summer break after a disastrous German Grand Prix last Sunday when the pole-sitter finished in 11th but was classed as ninth place. 

Red Bull's Max Verstappen remains the only driver to disrupt Mercedes' perfect start to the season as the Dutchman recorded his second win of the season

However, the five-times champion will take comfort from last year's strategic victory at the Hungaroring. He pulled clear by 24 points on that day which is already 17 short of his current margin on second-place Valterri Bottas

A poor outing for Renault and Alfa Romeo at Hockenheim was a complete contrast to the delight Torro Rosso felt following their P3 and P6 finish. 

It was, without doubt, the most entertaining race of the season, crashes, bizarre weather and the smaller teams coming up trumps - so how will this weekend's Hungarian GP live up to last week?

The track

The Hungaroring has been a part of the Formula One calendar since 1986 but in the last four years only two drivers have prevailed - Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. 

It is a 4.38km circuit on the outskirts of the Hungarian capital Budapest. 

Consisting of 14 corners, two DRS zones, the circuit will provide a tricky test for the drivers with Saturday's qualifying session and Sunday's race at risk of rain. However, breaks in the clouds on Sunday could increase the track temperature dramatically. 

The tight, twisty valley circuit is one of the shortest of the F1 calendar and the second slowest - only behind Monaco

Daniel Ricciardo holds the fastest lap time around the track with a time of 1:20.012. 

Racing Point to benefit from a suspension upgrade

Racing Point will be hoping they can benefit from an upgraded suspension this weekend as they add an extended upright bracket to the pushrod. 

Upgraded bodywork was introduced last weekend but Sergio Perez was unable to benefit following his early crash. 

The Mexican will be hoping the upgrade can prevent body roll suffered by the car whilst cornering to create a more stable car under steering.

"It didn't feel much better because we come from a very good track which is Silverstone, so it's very hard to draw conclusions, but the team is optimistic," Perez said. 

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"We see good numbers, we see it's working, so it should be good. We have some mechanical updates, [and] we will try them on Friday to see how they perform."

"Generally Hungary hasn't been a good place for us. I remember last year we had one of the worst races here, then we went back to Spa with a similar car and we finished fourth," he added. 

Verstappen excited to return

Last week's German GP winner, Max Verstappen has admitted he is excited to return to Hungary with it being one of his favourite races on the calendar. 

Speaking ahead of Friday's practice sessions, the 21-year-old said: “I like the Hungaroring, it’s one of my favourite tracks and I’m looking forward to going there again this year. It’s a very technical circuit and you really have to hit the apexes to position yourself well for each corner.” 

Red Bull have only ever claimed two victories at the Hungaroring with Mark Webber taking maximum points in 2010 and Daniel Ricciardo in 2014. 

“It feels a bit like you’re driving a big car on a small track as it’s so narrow but that doesn’t make it any less fun," he said. 

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“My favourite corner is Turn 11, the fast right-hander, and it’s a nice feeling when you get it right. A good exit from the final corner is also very important as the straight is so long and you have to carry good speed into it. Budapest is a beautiful city and there is lots to do in the evenings.

“The whole team always looks forward to this race, it’s one of the warmest of the year and it’s normally a good track for us.”

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