Formula One

2018 Hungarian Grand Prix Preview

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Momentum? Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have four victories apiece. So, if things unfold as they have been all season, look for Red Bull to capture the final win before the mid-season break to bring themselves up to four. If not, the competition for a fifth world championship should keep Hamilton, Vettel, and us well entertained. Take your pick.

Needs A Good Run?  Stoffel Vandoorne is reportedly not pleasing his bosses at McLaren because veteran Fernando Alonso keeps out performing him.

In Our Last Episode?  Lewis Hamilton improbably won the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim after starting 14th on the grid.

Sentimental Favorite?  Our “twin Finns”, Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, are especially popular in Budapest.

Challenges?  Overtaking, overtaking, overtaking. It’s as difficult to execute a pass in Budapest as it is for Donald Trump to tell the truth.


“The Hungaroring is very difficult to master. It begins with very hard braking into Turn 1 before an off camber Turn 2 which tries to push you off from the inside. It is an important circuit to be precise in order to be online for the next corner. Turn 4 is almost blind so you need to be cautious and build up throughout the weekend. Sector 2 is pretty narrow and twisty so you need to take extra care here. Turn 11, the fast right hander is probably my favourite corner on the track, when you get it right it is a nice feeling. A good exit from the final corner is important as the straight is long so carrying speed is vital. Budapest is a cool city, it has a reputation as a bit of a “party town” but I have not had chance to experience that yet! Walking on the banks of the ‘Nube is nice and gives a chance to see both parts of the city, Buda and pest. I’ll always try to fit in a good helping of Goulash while I’m in Hungary as I really enjoy this dish, usually on Sunday evening.” Max Verstappen, Red Bull driver

“The Hungaroring is one of the shortest tracks on the calendar but as it is set in its own amphitheatre, it is a terrific place for fans to come and watch. Indeed, the race usually attracts a great crowd from across Europe who enjoy the event as well as the beautiful city of Budapest. Temperatures can be very high and the circuit itself is quite tricky technically, so it is a good challenge for the drivers. The Hungarian Grand Prix also marks the end of the mid-season, and the beginning of the long-awaited summer break for the drivers and teams, which after a triple-header followed by this double-header is greatly deserved.” Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer, Williams

“I won there in 2013 in Renault 2.0, I was second in 2014 in 3.5, second in 2015 in GP2 and first, again in GP2, in 2016, so it’s a track that seems to work well for me. It’s one of my favourite tracks because it’s very technical, which is something I like. It’s important to get into a good, flowing rhythm and on a track with so few straight sections, the driver can really make the difference. With one corner leading straight into another, it’s important to get the flow working, because if you make a mistake at one turn, it has a big impact on the following ones. However, rather like Monaco, overtaking here complicated, therefore qualifying is even more important than usual. In terms of pure driving though, I love it, as there are all sorts of corner types: slow, medium and fast, long corners, heavy braking ones, so it has a bit of everything. Given that I really like it, I can’t wait to find out what it will be like in an F1 car. I reckon it will be a pure pleasure! I’m not bothered about the fact it is going to be extremely hot this weekend, as I am in good shape, even though it has been a long and tough season so far. I’m well prepared for the conditions and I hope we will be able to get a good result to take with us into the summer break. It would be important psychologically for the entire team to pick up some points and we will all be working very hard to achieve that. I love racing, but I think the break will be a good thing, because everyone is quite tired and needs some time at home with the family. It’s the perfect moment to cut the season in half and I will be going on holiday with my friends and those that are close to me. But before that, let’s give it everything in Budapest!” Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso driver

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularOpenWheel.com, its owners, management, or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Lisa Davidson

Lisa Davidson is a graduate of the University of Arizona and spent her corporate career as a Controller. She is a lifelong writer who has been covering open wheel racing since 2000 and is the author of historical articles and co-author of one book She and her husband, photographer Jeff Davidson, have two daughters and make their home in Murrieta, CA.

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