One of the best tracks in Hamilton.
Along with Silverstone and Montreal, it’s fair to say that the Hungaroring is one of the best Hamilton circuits in the world. F1 calendar.
Hamilton took four of his eight wins in Hungary before his dominant stint at Mercedes at McLaren, highlighting that it wasn’t just about having the best car.
Hamilton is simply a specialist at the Hungaroring.
Its narrow and winding nature has led to some comparisons of it being like a go-kart track.
In F1 2023Mercedes was disappointed by its pace at Silverstone as it fell behind McLaren.
They are still waiting to see if their revised front wing will give them a win in low-speed corners, with their best results this year (Australia, Spain) when track characteristics have been more high-speed.
However, Hamilton can never be ruled out in Hungary.
The biggest talking point of the weekend is the return of Daniel Ricciardo in AlphaTauri.
Australian is back after Red Bull quit nyck devries after only 10 races.
Indeed, Ricciardo will have 12 races to show that he really is back and his time at McLaren was not representative.
With the AlphaTauri being the slowest car on the grid, combined with Yuki Tsunoda in his year with the team, Ricciardo is unlikely to perform at his best.
However, if you have Sergio PerezRed Bull’s seat in the crosshairs, he needs to act immediately to put even more pressure on the underperforming Mexican.
Will McLaren be able to continue in the fight?
McLaren was the star of the British Grand Prix, qualifying second and third on its own merits behind Verstappen.
It was a remarkable turnaround for McLaren, who had taken zero points after the first two rounds.
So is McLaren really back?
According to various telemetry data from Silverstone, McLaren was fastest through the high-speed corners.
By contrast, the Hungaroring is quite different in terms of track characteristics to Silverstone and Austria, where McLaren also performed well.
Hungary is a real test to see if McLaren is really in between the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari from now on.
Will Alonso stop Aston’s recent trouble?
After an impressive start to the year, Aston Martin has suffered a bit of a problem in the last few rounds.
Fernando Alonso he scored five podium finishes in the first six rounds, however, he only managed one top-three finish in the last four races.
Aston Martin has made it clear that its drop in form is more track dependent, with high-speed circuits not particularly suited to its package.
However, Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren have greatly improved their cars during the European leg of the season, which may explain Aston Martin’s lack of form relative to its rivals.
On paper the tight and twisty Hungaroring will suit the AMR23, but if it’s another disappointing weekend then it’s clear Aston Martin’s recent form isn’t just a problem.
A new classification format
F1 will test a new experiential qualifying format at the Hungaroring this weekend.
Dubbed the ‘alternative tire allocation’, it will take place across two race weekends, Hungary and Italy, this season.
In terms of the impact of the format, in theory there should be more action in Q1 as teams will be required to use hard tyres.
They are likely to fill their cars with fuel and hit the hard tire.
Similarly with the second quarter, whereas the third quarter will probably be a normal session since they will be in soft mode.