The tight, twisting and usually sweltering Hungarian Grand Prix is the final stop for F1 before the summer break. Up and down the grid, teams and drivers will be wanting and needing a strong performance.
Many are expecting (and almost demanding) a return to winning ways for Lewis Hamilton. A victor in Hungary in 4 out of the last 7 races, the Mercedes star seems to have a certain affinity with the circuit. For a driver famed for his immaculate car control and commitment in high speed sections, the nature of the Hungaroring seems to go against type. More interestingly, this season it has tended to be in slower sections/corners where team mate Nico Rosberg has been quicker. So despite history suggesting Hamilton will win, he won’t have it quite as easy as some suspect.
Hungary will also be a litmus test for the revitalised Williams. Recent races have finally seen results to match their early-season promise. The high speeds of Silverstone and Hockenheim however give way to the compact Hungaroring which will help answer a key question: are Williams entirely reliant on the dominant Mercedes-Benz engine or not?
The possibility of Williams struggling adds further intrigue as Red Bull, and Ferrari fight it out for best of the rest. Red Bull’s cars still look a cut above in terms of aero so you would expect them to perform well. But Fernando Alonso continues – as he always seems to do nowadays – to get in amongst the leading battles through a mixture of guile, intelligence and downright top-class driving.
Hungary has the potential to leave us all counting the minutes until the F1 summer break ends.