Hungarian Grand Prix preview

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The 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix is the 11th round of the FIA Formula One World Championship.

Budapest welcomes Formula One this week as the teams assemble at the Hungaroring for the Hungarian Grand Prix – the 12th round of the 2014 F1 World Championship. For many in the F1 paddock it has been a hectic few days. Back-to-back with the German Grand Prix, Hungary represents a huge logistics effort for teams, pushed to their limits to transfer cars, garage equipment and motorhomes the 800km between the two circuits.

The twisting Hungaroring is similar in characteristic to a street circuit – lacking the walls but retaining the tight radius corners, bumpy surface and low grip. It has something of a mixed reputation among drivers; common consensus claims it to be a wonderful track for a qualifying lap but a difficult place to race, given the paucity of overtaking opportunities. In close battles, good strategy has frequently been the decisive factor, more so than at other permanent circuits.

Pirelli are bringing the medium and soft compounds this weekend. Weather forecasts suggest high track temperatures will again be a factor – albeit with the risk of storms increasing as the weekend progresses. Teams run their maximum downforce packages in Hungary to cope with the many slow corners. The issue that will occupy the minds of engineers during the practice sessions is the need to maximise traction to get the best return from the many low-gear acceleration points.
 
In the compelling battle for the Drivers’ World Championship title, the pendulum swung back in favour of Nico Rosberg at Hockenheim with the German driver extending his lead to 14 points with an authoritative victory. Team-mate Lewis Hamilton will not be too despondent, however. Battling back from a qualifying-session brake failure that left him starting near the back of the field, he limited his losses with a charge to third place. With four pole positions and four victories at the Hungaroring he will be confident of reducing the deficit this weekend.

Circuit Data - Hungaroring

Length of lap: 4.381km
Lap record: 1:19.071 (Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004)
Start line/finish line offset: 0.040km
Total number of race laps: 70
Total race distance: 306.630km
Pitlane speed limits: 80km/h in practice, qualifying and the race

Circuit Notes

- The guardrail to the left of the run-off area at Turn Three has been re-aligned to better protect the recovery vehicle and to allow space for a car that has been recovered.

- Speed bumps 50mm high have been installed two metres from the track edge in the run-off area at Turns Six/Seven.

- New debris fencing has been installed close to the guardrail on the left between Turns 11 and 12 and around the outside of Turn 14.  


DRS Zones

- There will be two DRS zones sharing a detection point 5m before Turn 14. Activation points are 130m after the apex of Turn 14 and 6m after the apex of Turn One. 

Hungarian GP Fast Facts

- The Hungarian Grand Prix made its Formula One World Championship debut in 1986 at the newly-constructed Hungaroring. It has been held at this venue every year since. Monza and Monte Carlo are the only circuits with a longer run of consecutive races.

- The race has been held 28 times. Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton are the most successful drivers in the history of the Hungarian Grand Prix with four wins each. McLaren are the most successful team with 11 victories at this circuit, including six of the last nine Hungarian Grands Prix.

- In the battle for dominance between engine suppliers, Mercedes lead the way with nine victories. Renault have seven, Honda six, Ferrari five and Ford (Cosworth) one. Honda and Ferrari, however, share the distinction of having a victory in each decade of the race’s operation.

- In the last 10 outings, the Hungarian Grand Prix has provided debut victories for Fernando Alonso (2003), Jenson Button (2006) and Heikki Kovalainen (2008).

- Sebastian Vettel has a blind spot when it comes to the Hungarian Grand Prix, never having won it.  Prior to 2014, during his first five seasons as a Red Bull Racing driver, he took at least one victory in every other country to host a grand prix.  

- The 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix holds the distinction of being the race with the most pit stops. 88 in total. 

- Both Nigel Mansell in 1992 and Michael Schumacher in 2001 won the Drivers’ World Championship at the Hungarian Grand Prix. In Mansell’s case it was the 11th race of a 16-race season, for Schumacher it was the 13th of 17. Schumacher holds the record for the earliest conclusion to the Championship, taking the title in 2002 at the French Grand Prix with six races remaining.

- Williams secured the 1996 Constructors’ World Championship in Hungary with a one-two formation finish – Jacques Villeneuve leading Damon Hill over the line. Ferrari repeated both the one-two finish and securing the Championship in 2001, 2002 and 2004.

- The 1992 Grand Prix was memorable for more than Mansell claiming the Drivers’ crown. It was the last F1 grand prix to feature pre-qualifying and also the final race for the Brabham. Damon Hill qualified 25th and finished 11th (last).

- Hamilton made a small piece of history at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix by becoming the first driver to win a Grand Prix in a hybrid car. The McLaren MP4/24 powered by a KERS-equipped Mercedes FO 108W engine would win again in Singapore. Kimi Räikkönen, in Belgium, took a solitary victory for Ferrari’s KERS-equipped Ferrari F60. The rest of the season was dominated by the conventional Mercedes and Renault engines powering the Brawn BGP001 and Red Bull Racing RB5 respectively.

Weekend Schedule

Thursday

Press Conference 15.00

Friday

Practice Session One 10.00 - 11.30
Practice Session Two 14.00 - 15.30
Press Conference 16.00
 
Saturday

Practice Session Three 11.00 - 12.00
Qualifying 14.00 - 15.00
(Followed by unilateral and press conference)
 
Sunday

Drivers' Parade 12.30
Race 14.00 - 16.00
(Followed by podium interviews and press conference)

FIA Formula One

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Series F1
Event Hungarian GP
Track Hungaroring
Article type Previews
Tags budapest

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