In a double-header of Formula One action, the season rolls on to the Hungaroring for the last Grand Prix before the annual summer break.
Just one week after the Hockenheimring hosted the 2014 German Grand Prix, the season moves on to Hungary for the eleventh round of the Formula One World Championship. After winning in Germany, Nico Rosberg carries a 14 point lead over his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton as the Mercedes drivers continue to battle it out. But if Lewis is going to take the challenge to Nico in Hungary, he will need to improve his qualifying performances and start near or on the front row.
In the previous three races Lewis has left himself with work to do from the start after poor performances. In Austria, track limits caused a lot of drivers issues and their times being removed in qualifying. But it cost Lewis heavily and he started the race down in ninth. At Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, a poor decision not to complete a flying lap in the mixed conditions resulted in Lewis’ best Q3 time falling down the order as the other drivers found heaps of time. This time Lewis started the race down in sixth place. To round up Hamilton’s poor qualifying of late, he was only able to qualify down in 16th place for the German Grand Prix.
Fortunately for Lewis, the Hungarian Grand Prix has been a good track for him over his F1 career. Going into this weekend, Lewis has the joint most Grand Prix wins at the Hungaroring with Michael Schumacher. With both having won the race on four occasions and Lewis having won the most recent Hungarian Grand Prix in 2013. The race in 2013 also marked Hamilton’s first win at Mercedes since his switch from McLaren.
The Hungaroring itself is a short 4.381 km track set 19 kilometres away from Budapest in Hungary. Based in a valley, providing natural viewing areas for spectators, work began on the circuit in 1985, before the first Grand Prix was held in the following year. When the track was designed it used the natural aspects of the location to create a challenging track for the drivers. With almost all of the track visible from certain grandstands.
The first sector of the track is made up by the two longest straights of the circuit. Between the straights however, will provide overtaking opportunities. Following on from the pit straight, which will be used as the first DRS area for the race, drivers battling could exit turn one within close proximity. On the run down to turn 2, the second DRS zone can enable a driver to pull away from the person he just overtook or provide him with a second chance. Here there are two options for the overtake. The driver can either send his car down the inside of the corner and forced his opposition out wide. Or a more bold move would be to try to go around the outside. If this move is to be pulled off however, they will need a strong exit to hold the inside line into turn three and the run up the hill.
At the top of the hill, turn four is a challenging corner where the drivers need to slow down slightly, but still enough to flick their car to the left without exceeding the track limits. If a driver is to run off here and gain an advantage, a penalty is almost guaranteed.
Through the middle sector of the track, overtaking opportunities come very rarely with the narrow twisty nature of the sector. The turn six/seven chicane is the best chance for an overtake whilst in the middle sector but a mistake can cost you severely if the field is bunched up. After this chicane the middle sector becomes fast and twisty. Drivers will be forced to follow the car ahead until the start of the final sector.
Here another straight allows for overtaking opportunities under breaking before the drivers bunch back up to wrap up the lap. It’s not impossible to overtake into turn thirteen as a driver may drift out wide, leaving the inside open for a late move. If a driver does attempt the overtake here however, they leave themselves open to attack with the DRS detection coming soon after.
If you wish to watch the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix live in the UK it will be available on TV courtesy of SkySportsF1. The BBC will have highlights of the race on TV later on in the day, with live coverage on their radio station; BBC5 Live.
For SkySportsF1, their schedule for the Hungarian Grand Prix is:
Thursday 24th July
17:00: F1 Drivers Press Conference
Friday 25th July
08:45: F1 Free Practice 1 – Live
11:00: GP2 Practice – Live
12:45: F1 Free Practice 2 – Live
14:50: GP2 Qualifying – Live
16:00: F1 Team Principle Press Conference
Saturday 26th July
08:45: GP3 Qualifying – Live
09:45: F1 Free Practice 3 – Live
12:00: F1 Qualifying – Live
14:35: GP2 Feature Race – Live
16:15: GP3 Race 1 – Live
Sunday 27th July
08:20: GP3 Race 2 – Live
09:30: GP2 Sprint Race – Live
11:30: The 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix, Track Parade – Live
12:00: The 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix – Live
15:30: The 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix, Paddock Live
18:00: The 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix, Highlights
As for the BBC, their schedule for the Hungarian Grand Prix is:
Friday 25 July
08:55: Free Practice 1 – BBC 5 live sports extra & live text commentary online
12:55: Free Practice 2 – BBC 5 live sports extra & live text commentary online
Saturday 26 July
09:55: Free Practice 3 – BBC 5 live sports extra & live text commentary online
12:55: Qualifying – BBC 5 live sports extra & live text commentary online
17:40: Qualifying highlights – BBC Two
Sunday 27 July
13:00: The 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix, race live – BBC 5 live & live text commentary online
17:10: The 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix, race highlights – BBC One