Posted on July 23, 2013
XPB.cc

This weekend’s Hungarian GP will be fascinating from a strategy point of view as it sees the debut of a new specification of Pirelli tyres at the same time as safety measures come in after the incident with a flying wheel in Germany. As a result the pit lane speed limit has been lowered to 80km/h from 100km/h which will add over three seconds to the time needed to make a pit stop. This makes multiple stops less attractive.

At the same time extremely high temperatures are forecast as mainland Europe experiences a heatwave. We could see track temperatures in the 50s this weekend.

Testing of the new Pirellis at last week’s Young Driver Test in Silverstone showed that these new tyres degrade less than the ones they are replacing, so – heat permitting – it will lead teams to want to run with as few stops as possible.

Although teams like Force India, Ferrari and Lotus blocked a change of tyre specification earlier in the season, it may be that with their more gentle action on the tyres means that they still have a benefit- especially in the heat – as pit stops take longer and are therefore less attractive. Being able to do one less stop than the opposition, or in Lotus’ case being able to run the faster soft tyre for longer still carries an advantage.

To make the situation more intriguing, the Hungaroring circuit is rarely used and so the track is usually dirty at the start of the F1 race weekend and the grip improves as the weekend goes on. This means that it’s very easy to be misled by the tyre performance on Friday and the only really meaningful work that can be done on car set up and planning race strategy is often the one hour session on Saturday morning.

The track is tight and twisty with generally a low grip surface and it is also quite bumpy.

The start is always crucial at the Hungaroring, as the slow second and third corners tend to open the field out. The run down to Turn 1 is quite long; from pole position to the braking point before Turn 1 is 400m. KERS will be important at the start, but in the race it will be less effective; there is not a lot of high energy braking time so it’s hard to get the KERS fully charged during a lap of the race.


Track characteristics

Hungaroring – 4.381km kilometres. Race distance – 70 laps = 306.630 kilometres. 14 corners in total. Average speed of 196km/h is the lowest of any permanent track on F1 calendar.

Aerodynamic setup – High downforce. Top speed 301km/h (with Drag Reduction System active on rear wing) – 291km/h without.

Full throttle – 55% of the lap (low). Total fuel needed for race distance – 150 kilos (average/high). Fuel consumption – 2.11kg per lap (average)

Time spent braking: 14% of lap. Number of brake zones – 11. Brake wear- High.

Total time needed for pit stop: 16 seconds

Fuel effect (cost in lap time per 10kg of fuel carried): 0.35 seconds (high)


Form Guide

The Hungarian Grand Prix is the tenth round of the 2013 FIA F1 World Championship and thus marks the half way point in the 19 race season.

Red Bull has control of both championships, but Mercedes has taken a big step forward in the second third of the season and has had two wins in the last four races. Sebastian Vettel, the clear championship leader, has also scored two wins in the last four. Mercedes has the clear edge in qualifying and is likely to dominate again in Hungary, but the race will be very tough as temperatures of 40 degrees are forecast.

The circuit and temperatures should suit Lotus, which ran Red Bull very close in Germany and they have to be the pre-race favorites if they can qualify in the top two rows of the grid. Raikkonen finished a strong second in Budapest last year behind Lewis Hamilton, despite starting fifth on the grid.

As far as drivers’ form is concerned; it has been a happy hunting ground for Hamilton with three wins and Jenson Button who has won the race twice. Fernando Alonso won in 2003, Kimi Raikkonen in 2005 and Mark Webber in 2010.

Weather Forecast

With a heatwave in Europe, it could be one of the hottest Grands Prix on record. The forecast is for temperatures around 38-40 degrees, but there are often thunderstorms in the air, which could bring rain, as in 2011.


Likely tyre performance and other considerations

Pirelli tyre choice for Budapest: Soft (yellow markings) and Medium (white markings). This is the same as last year, but this year the compounds are softer so the pace should be faster.

The tyre specification is new for this race, with 2012 constructions married to 2013 compounds, pushed through on safety grounds after the spectacular tyre failures in Silverstone.

With the predicted heatwave, track temperatures of 50 degrees plus could be on the cards. The strategy will probably come down to fine margins with two stops being the target. It will be interesting to see whether the soft or the medium turns out to be the better race tyre; if the low degradation seen in the recent test at Silverstone is carried through, the soft could be the better tyre to race on, with a performance advantage of 0.8s to 1s per lap. Lotus is likely to explore this option carefully. Raikkonen did two stints on soft tyres last year, with a middle stint of 25 laps.

The crucial thing for teams to understand will be the crossover point where the medium becomes better over the long run.

The target for the first stop will be around lap 17-20.

The Hungaroring is notoriously hard on the front tyres, partly due to all the long corners and partly due to the balance of the car being much more forward. High temperatures will also take their toll.

In the past, overtaking was extremely difficult at the Hungaroring and it is still tricky. There were few passes after the opening laps of the race last year.

But the DRS adjustable rear wing zone, situated on the pit straight, has helped create some overtaking opportunities into Turn 1.


Number and likely timing of pit stops

The time needed for a stop at Hungaroring has now extended due to the lower pit lane speed limit, which discourages pit stops.

As these new tyres are more like 2012 tyres than those from the first eight races of 2013, we are likely to see a similar picture to last season.

Last year two stops was the way to go and three stoppers lost out, surrendering track position at the final stop and struggling to regain it despite faster tyres at the end. With lower degradation tyres this is even more likely to favour the two stoppers.

It’s likely that we will see a mixture of predominantly two stop strategies this weekend, with some interesting things going on with stint lengths and compound choices. It could be a really interesting battle at the front if Mercedes, Lotus, Red Bull and Ferrari all play to their strengths.

Chance of a safety car

Safety cars are rare at the Hungaroring.

In fact the chances of a safety car are only 10% and there have been only two in the last seven years.


Recent start performance

The start of the Grand Prix is absolutely vital in terms of executing the ideal race strategy. A few places gained means a team has more options, while a few places lost usually means switching to Plan B and being more aggressive to make up ground.

As far as 2012 start performance is concerned drivers have gained (+) or lost (-) places off the start line during this season, on aggregate, as follows (taken after the German Grand Prix)

Gained:

+15 Van der Garde*****


+14 Massa



+14 Perez


+12 Sutil***


+10 Gutierrez


+10 Maldonado


+9 Di Resta


+3 Chilton


+3 Button


+3 Vettel


+2 Pic

+1 Hulkenberg**

+1 Alonso


Lost



-2 Raikkonen



-3 Rosberg

-4 Bianchi******

-7 Bottas


-7 Hamilton


-8 Grosjean
-9 Ricciardo



-15 Vergne ****


-15 Webber*



*Webber dropped from second to seventh after a clutch problem in Australia
** Hulkenberg did not start in Australia *** Sutil suffered puncture from contact with Massa in Bahrain ****Vergne retired following collision. *****Van der Garde and Maldonado made contact in Monaco. ******Bianchi started from pit lane in Monaco after stalling

Pit Stop League Table
Of course good strategy planning also requires good pit stop execution by the mechanics and we have seen tyre stops carried out in less than two and a half seconds by F1 teams.
It is clear that the field has significantly closed up in pit stops.

The league table below shows the order of the pit crews based on their fastest time in the German Grand Prix, from the car entering the pit lane to leaving it.

1. Red Bull 18.979 secs
2. Mercedes 19.316
3. Lotus 19.378
4. Ferrari 19.476
5. McLaren 19.692
6. Sauber 19.816
7. Toro Rosso 19.846
8. Force India 19.910
9. Marussia 19.953
10. Williams 20.331
11. Caterham 20.545


The UBS Race Strategy Briefing is written by James Allen with input and data from several F1 team strategists, from JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan and from Pirelli

New tyres and heatwave open a world of possibilities for Hungarian GP
118 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Jon
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 7:00 am 

    Always a fantastic read. Gets us all pumped for the weekend! my tip:
    Hamilton on Pole.
    Raikkonen for the win

    [Reply]

    Clear View Reply:

    +1

    [Reply]

    Grant Reply:

    Very logical pick….

    I would count Redbull out of both pole and win though.

    [Reply]

    Veena Reply:

    +1
    Both Lotus on the podium

    [Reply]

    goferet Reply:

    @ Jon

    Lewis on pole >>> Highly unlikely!

    Lewis hasn’t been on pole 3 consecutive times plus he was on pole last year, so no, I doubt it

    [Reply]

    Chris G Reply:

    Explain how either of those facts effect his chances this weekend please. As a non statistician I’m intrigued.

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    He can’t because it doesn’t, it’s for fun!
    For some more fun, try telling a lottery player that playing last weeks winning numbers this week is just as likely to win as any other combination and watch their head explode.

    goferet Reply:

    @ Chris G

    Aah yes Jake is spot on.

    Thanks!

    Phil Glass Reply:

    Hottest GP ever. I don’t see Seb taking this one. Excessive heat may just play havoc with engine parts, not that I wish them bad luck.
    I think Alonso will put the Ferrari on the second row on saturday, and take the fight to Seb.

    Kimi 5/1

    Alonso 5/1: safest bet

    Massa 50/1: tempting, but not while ALO, VET, RAI, HAM, ROS, still live and breathe.

    Button 100/1: wonder if McLaren have made a leap forward silently, invisibly

    [Reply]

    dean cassady Reply:

    Phil, Ferrari have been trending down, and failed to make any meaningful demonstration otherwise in testing, why the optimism? Yet Massa?
    I don’t think there is a safest bet for this race, so I go with the man who has the best trend in getting it done over the past four years, though I think Lotus maybe blooming; I expect surprises in qualifying.

    [Reply]

    Phil Glass Reply:

    You’re right Dean, but reading the body language of Scuderia personnel lately I get a sense of some breath-taking new updates coming in under the radar [they may even have tweeked them at silverstone last week}….
    upshot: Alonso leading this motor race before drs is enabled.

    Drinks on me if it comes true!

    dean cassady Reply:

    Plus, Ferrari have traditionally been the most high temperature sensitive, (past three years), non?

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    Kimi at 5/1 in the expected conditions! I would take these odds any day.

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: Glennb
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 7:02 am 

    A very comprehensive preview as always James. Thank you. Really looking forward to this one. This ones harder to pick than a broken nose.

    [Reply]

    Martin Reply:

    On a track where it is harder to pass than a kidney stone.

    [Reply]

    Martin Reply:

    I should credit Dick Johnson for that one, regarding John Bowe in touring cars.

    [Reply]

    All revved-up Reply:

    Hilarious Aussie humour!

    Glennb Reply:

    Brilliant! Then again, so is Dick ;)
    I need to credit Billy Birmingham for mine.

    [Reply]

    Ross Reply:

    Guys – Love the humour. Dick Johnson’s classic “handling like a dog on lino” remains immortal too.

    Glennb Reply:

    Haha Ross, I remember it :)
    Maybe Jenson should borrow some of DJ’s handling quips instead of “Ive got no grip!”
    When lacking power in his Sierra he once said ” this thing wouldnt pull a drunken sailor off your sister”.
    Legend.


  3.   3. Posted By: goferet
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 7:21 am 

    So we finally get to the other Monaco Grand Prix, the one without the barriers and celebrities >>> sweet.

    Also a welcome back to the 2012 tyres, I do recall they did serve us well last year e.g. Valencia, Abu-Dhabi, Monza, Austin etc. Hopefully we will get to see more of them in 2014.

    Now, with global warming going the way it has been going, I guess this heatwave we have been enjoying the past couple of years is here to stay but with better tyres, this shouldn’t be a worry for anybody.

    Regards the championship, unfortunately, Red Bull seem to have wrapped up both trophies with their excellent performance and consistency in the first half of the season, so basically the excitement in the title fight has been extinguished.

    So now, the fans are left with nothing but just to go through the motions seeing who can bag which win here and there till the inevitable end (I mean, if it was someone else that didn’t have good fortune like Vettel then there would have been slight hope)

    Yes, the season has a 2011 feel to it for I understand Vettel hasn’t finished lower than 4th in 2013.

    Anyway, lets see what the weekend has in store for us.

    Good tidings!

    [Reply]

    Andrew Carter Reply:

    Not 2012 tyres, it’s last years construction with this years compounds, making an all new tyre. Frankly, it probably means they’ll be the best yet from Pirelli.

    [Reply]

    Quade Reply:

    Yup, they are mutant hybrids. Lets see if they are heroes of the X-Men kind or another incarnation of ugly ol’ Frankenstein.

    [Reply]

    Luca Reply:

    its the 2012 construction with 2013 compound so not 100% the same spec tyres as last year, hence there is still a little element of the unknown about how they will fair, just before you get carried away.

    [Reply]

    David C Reply:

    Yes seb always has good fortune like in silverstone? We get it you don’t like the guy!! Anyway each GP as a standalone event is worth winning so still plenty to watch and enjoy but if choose to not bother that’s fair enough see you next year and thanks for the facts.

    [Reply]

    goferet Reply:

    @ Dave C

    Vettel’s last DNF was in Monza 2012 and his latest has been in Silverstone 2013, almost a full season.

    If that isn’t good fortune, I don’t know what is.

    As for not liking Vettel, no sir. I admit though that am jealous of his achievements, he should spread the success around.

    [Reply]

    David C Reply:

    Alonso and Kimi have less mechanical DNFs than seb in the last few years but you never temper their praise with a caveat about luck. I just think its bad form people running him down as its not as if MW is finishing second every year. He won in a torero Rosso aswell. Anyway I hope it closes up a bit and gets tighter but that’s up to messers raikkonen and alonso.

    I hope we get a good race this weekend and maybe it will bunch up a bit.

    SteveS Reply:

    gofert, your statistics lack any context. Alsono’s last car DNF was Malaysia 2010. That’s two and a half season ago as you count things. In that same time span Vettel has had 5 car related DNF’s.

    Claims that Vettel is “lucky” are not just wrong, they are ludicrous. He is one of the unluckier drivers on the grid, certainly in any of the top teams.

    goferet Reply:

    @ Dave C + @ SteveS

    No, my point isn’t that Vettel never gets DNFs or bad luck, in fact I agree that both Alonso and Kimi have their own share of luck.

    My point was that, of all the drivers, Sebi is the most blessed for just look at 2010 for despite all his unfortunate DNFs, he was still able to come through and clinch the title, I mean who does that.

    I tell you, that’s way beyond normal for that’s the Schumi zone.

    F1fan Reply:

    You can hardly Discount Alonso and Kimi in a world Championship dogfight, and certainly not so early in the season. It’s an open fight with an yet unknown winner. Don’t make the same mistake like last year, claiming the title was Alonso’s to lose with half the season still ahead. You know what finally happened. Nobody bet on Vettel after Germany last season, so how can People Claim he will win at this Point?

    [Reply]

    goferet Reply:

    @F1fan

    Kimi and Alonso haven’t got the car (especially in qualifying) to partake in any kind of dog fight.

    So it’s really a lost cause.

    [Reply]

    David C Reply:

    Kimi had the fastest race car last week and merc had the fastest for quali so there is always hope, shame RBR have seb

    justafan Reply:

    Not all hope is lost, though. Take the example of the mid-00′es, where the fastest cars were not the most reliable and compare that with RBR’s reliability issues and you will see, that hope is not lost for RBR’s competitors.

    Glennb Reply:

    I hereby claim that Sebastian Vettel will win the 2013 WDC.

    [Reply]


  4.   4. Posted By: goferet
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 7:32 am 

    Some Hungary stats:

    Been racing since 1986

    a) Schumi 4 wins, Senna + Lewis = 3 wins, Piquet + Jenson + Damon + Jacques + Mika = 2 wins

    b) Mclaren 11 wins, Williams 7 wins, Ferrari 5 wins

    c) The only back to back winners are Piquet, Senna, Mika and Jacques

    d) The only two times it has rained, Jenson has won 2006 and 2011.

    e) Jenson and Schumi are the only drivers to have won with two different teams

    f) Prost and Vettel are the only champions not to have won

    g) In the last 10 years (since 2003), 4 out of 10 have won from pole. In 20 years it has been 9 pole winners

    h) Schumi 7 poles, Senna + Lewis = 3 poles, Patrese + Alonso + Vettel + Mika = 2 poles

    i) In the last 10 years, only once has the winner gone on to clinch the title (Schumi 2004) and in 20 years, 5 winners have won the title (3 of those being Schumi)

    [Reply]

    Brisbane Bill Reply:

    So what you are saying is that the odds are against a Vettel win (as he is likely to go on and win the title this year) and also against a Button win (no rain forecast). Hamilton could add to the tally of drivers winning in two different teams, which would also make him a back-to-back winner and a 4 time winner – but will the Mercedes be able to manage the tyres in the heat? Doubt it. So that counts out Hamilton and Rosberg as a winner as well.

    Who are we left with? Alonso, Raikkonen, Webber are the most likely candidates with possible options of Maldonado, Massa, Grosjean. Typically a processional race with qualifying important yet the pole man wins less than 50% of the time. So my prediction – Raikkonen for pole, Alonso for the win with Vettel on the podium to maintain his title lead. Renault will stuff up on strategy and Raikkonen will be off the podium but Grosjean will be on it. Webber will qualify right behind Vettel, so that threat to the wunderkind will need to be eliminated and Webber will have another mysterious bad start and be back in the pack and have his car damaged by a crazy dive up the inside at turn 1 by Maldonado, forcing them both wide and to the back of the pack. Webber will make his usual charge from the back and get into the lower points.

    Button and Perez will trip over each other at turn 2 on lap 34, as they will be on different strategies and Perez will think that he is so much faster than Button so he HAS to get past. That will put them both out of the points, which won’t be too much of a drama as they were both fighting over 10th anyway.

    Both Force India cars will be in the points. Massa will be as well. So what does that gives us as the result?
    1 – Alonso, 2 – Vettel, 3 – Grosjean, 4 – Massa, 5 – Di Resta, 6 – Raikkonen, 7 – Rosberg, 8 – Sutil, 9 – Webber, 10 – Hamilton

    Now – do I have a bookie willing to quote me odds on this?

    [Reply]

    goferet Reply:

    @ Brisbane Bill

    Lol nice summary.

    Seems about right.

    [Reply]

    David C Reply:

    I think you can name your own odds for the first 10for the entire top 10.

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: goferet
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 7:40 am 

    Meanwhile of late – actually since the 2012 London Olympics – the British athletes having been going from strength to strength spreading tsunamis of delight across the Isles.

    Now, a lad can’t help thinking maybe we will soon be getting some good news from F1 pretty soon.

    Let the good times roll on.

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: Darren
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 7:42 am 

    Instead of going to Silverstone this year we’re off to Budapest on Friday. If anyone has any suggestions for good places to eat and drink or where the GP crowd congregate when not at the gp pls let me know. Thx in advance.

    [Reply]

    Andras F. Reply:

    There are always big parties around the track during the weekend.
    Inside Budapest I cannot recommend any specific but it is likely to meet fans somewhere…

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: Dan
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 7:56 am 

    Mercedes are screwed, they have no chance in the race do they?

    [Reply]

    McLaren78 Reply:

    Precisely! Their season is over. Let’s move to 2014.

    [Reply]

    Get Well Soon Murray Reply:

    Vettel has it. Forget about the remaining races and use the reamining time left to organise tests for Pirelli to sort out the tyres for next season.

    [Reply]

    Grant Reply:

    Yeah looks like it.

    Pitting will incur a severe penalty, and temperatures are just too high.

    [Reply]

    dean cassady Reply:

    No.
    We’ll see, this race in Budapest.
    Though the Vettel-Rd Bull package has got to be the favourite, there are a number of extreme variables for this weekend.
    Three weeks and a rare in-season test.
    Extreme heat, will affect drivers, and tire wear.
    New tires, performance unknown.
    Mercedes seem like the sandbagging type, laying low to hide the advantage that they gained in their illegal test, with current race drivers.
    Who knows how Mercedes will do? They’ll probably stress and burnout their tires, but few know, now.
    What do you know?
    Lotus seem to be peaking, with dramatic timing for several plot lines.
    No, nothing is settled yet.

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: Anon
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 8:06 am 

    Should be fun watching Lewis take pole only for him to plummet in the race thanks to the tyres… The pit lane speed has been lowered to so those doing more pit stops will lose out even more.

    [Reply]

    jjpm Reply:

    You mention “thanks to the tyres” I do not believe this is proper assumption… IMO the big trouble with Mercedes is the W04! W02,W03 et now W04!
    Which destroy entirely tires (primes or options) during race’s first tiers while not delivering good pace!
    Check Schumi lap by lap times from last year either with primes or options.
    I agree that tyres behavior did not help but its not the cause that plague Mercedes as I see it.

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: Ezio Auditore
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 8:08 am 

    Due to the high downforce nature of the track, the bulls will again be the cars to beat unless the tyres intervene severely. However for Championship’s sake, I sincerely hope that Ferrari are there or thereabouts. It’s an undeniable fact that the title is slowly but surely slipping out of Alonso’s grasp. Another win for Vettel and a non podium finish for the Spaniard and he’ll be looking at an unassailable lead.

    Let’s also not forget that Hamilton and Raikkonen have consistently done well here in the past. With the former actually winning thrice here. The heat could be a thorn in Merc’s challenge this weekend. Nonetheless both Hamilton and Rosberg should be fighting for the top grid slots.

    [Reply]

    krischar Reply:

    As you pointed out The high downforce demands of the track will suit RBR more than any other team

    WDC is long gone, Ferrari have virtually made no improvements to the F138 ever since barca, Though alonso stressed the importance of IN-SEASON development. Ferrari seems to be happy with very reliable car rather than a quick one

    I only see lotus as threat to RBR in hungary to a lesser extent. Vettel is the favourite for hungary win and 2013 WDC. RBR do not have any reliablitiy woes unlike 2010.

    WDC & WCC are in the bag for RBR

    [Reply]

    Allan Reply:

    Why are so many already giving up on the 2013 WDC? Granted, Vettel’s lead does provide discomfort for the opposition, but it is hardly unassailable at this stage. Another race like Silverstone (where Seb’s car broke) would narrow the gap again. Add that to Lotus’ good form (they looked to be the best race car in Germany), and Kimi is certainly still in the frame. And, I wouild NEVER discount Alonso.

    Yes, Vettel does look like the favorite right now, but I think it is still a ways from being a “done deal”.

    [Reply]

    F1fan Reply:

    ‘RBR do not have any reliablitiy woes unlike 2010.’

    Obvioussly you do have a short Memory.

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: LewisTheBest
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 8:56 am 

    I thought new tyre should favor merc and rbr since its more durable??

    And lotus to qualify top two when rbr and merc are around?? you must be smoking something else james.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Top two rows

    [Reply]

    LewisTheBest Reply:

    oh, ok. that makes sense then !!

    [Reply]

    Dave P Reply:

    I agree with Lewisthebest, All the reporting has implied the new tyres will suit Lotus/Ferrai due to their longevity. Nobody is mentioning that RBR will now be able to run their car to maximumpotential early on, get a good gap then settle down to their manage the tyres without following anybody… if that happens Lotus can do what they want, they will not win as they will have had to overtake too many cars…

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    If you read the YDT analysis we make that exact point in section on tyres

    I know Reply:

    Among the top teams, Lotus (and Ferrari to a lesser degree) where the best at managing their tyres – why would that imply that they would benefit from improved longevity?

    Let’s see how the new tyres perform in racing and qualifying. I was surprised that Kimi & Fernando opted to skip the tyre test, so I can only assume they don’t make much of a difference.

    C Lin Reply:

    Yup top 4 is possible, Kimi has done it this year.

    [Reply]

    Ratmore Reply:

    Being more durable might mean Lotus can run to a faster delta time

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: ShaBooPi
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 9:42 am 

    I really don’t get this stupid pit lane speed rule. I’m sorry but I like pits tops, they add a little drama. I’d love for refueling to be back. If they are lowering the speed just to make pitting for tyres less attractive, why are we having tyres that degrade encouraging it? It just seems utterly stupid. I don’t know who is really running this sport but there have been some daft decisions of late. My guess is this’ll be another boring race, but who cares as long as suckers like us fork out money to watch the degradation of a sport that used to be more about excitement and innovation.

    [Reply]

    Martin Reply:

    It is a reaction to a few things – the tipping point as the Red Bull tyre coming off in Germany, but also teams have been asking for the same speed limit in practice and the race so that the drivers get more practice at stopping on the marks, rather than overshooting on the first stop in the race from 100 km/h and hitting the crew when in practice they have only been doing 60 km/h. The FIA decided 80 km/h was the go. The tyre degradation is really independent of this.

    With refuelling, it could potentially happen under the new regulations. The cars will run fuel flow meters to ensure that no more than 100 kg of fuel is used. It would make no difference to that regulation as to whether the was refueling or not. It is currently banned on a mix of safety and environmental grounds. The latter will be gone next year. With the reduced fuel weight – 100 kg vs ~180 to 200 kg in the V10 refuelling days, the stops would be driven by optimal tyre usage much more than fuel effect as was the case in the last decade.

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: James
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 10:25 am 

    My lame prediction this time.

    Mercs tyres will go off before end of lap, despite lower degradation.

    Quali:
    1. Grosjean
    2. Hamilton
    3. Rosberg
    4. Vettel
    5. Raikkonen

    Race:
    1. Grosjean
    2. Alonso
    3. Raikkonen
    4. Vettel
    5. Webber

    1st ever Grand Prix victory!!!

    [Reply]

    dean cassady Reply:

    success favours the bold; your predictions are bold. it would be so interesting if it were to become…

    [Reply]

    Rudy Reply:

    You must be French. Grosjean? No way!

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    Lotus will not let Grosjean finish ahead of Kimi.
    Only chance is if Kimi is out of the race or way back out of contention.

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: Jake
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 10:42 am 

    If it is a two stop race then Red Bull for the win, but if it’s a three stop Lotus may sneak it with a two stop strategy. If the tyres really are more durable then Merc for the upset.
    James, unless you know something you’re not sharing with us re the Lotus, third row on the grid it is for them at best.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    They are working hard on getting a bit more in quali

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    And Merc are working hard on their tyre deg., but it’s still a problem!
    And McLaren are working hard on their… well, everything but they are still way down on the leaders race pace. Qualifying has been a problem for Lotus for some time. If there was a quick fix they would have done it already.
    On the other hand this has to be one of their best chances for a win given the expected conditions.

    [Reply]

    Tornillo Amarillo Reply:

    Yes,
    If Red Bull does 2 stops,
    If Hamilton does a front row on Saturday and a good start on race day,
    If Alonso and Ferrari has a good day,
    If Kimi does a 2 stops but he is faster and does a better strategy because they manage better the tyres,
    so, I don’t know why they cannot finish like this on Sunday:

    1. VETTEL
    2. KIMI
    3. ALONSO
    4. HAMILTON

    [Reply]

    dean cassady Reply:

    it will be interesting to see where Ferrari shake out, especially, of course, the Alonso-Ferrari package.
    I’ve been having a difficult time assessing them; but it doesn’t look good, my feeling is that they will be fighting for 4th-5th with… McLaren, yikes.
    But who knows?

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    It would be nice if Alonso could get into the top in order to spice up the championship but I don’t see it, despite having a reasonable car, operationally Ferrari are not at their best this year and Alonso seems to have lost a little drive. If the Merc still has issues with the new tyres then Lotus is the only hope left to stop Vettel.
    Vettel for number WDC No.4 it is.

    [Reply]

    Grant Reply:

    +1

    Third row sounds a bit more realistic.

    [Reply]

    Vlad Reply:

    Yes, Vettel will win this race easily. Just better downforce in the Red Bull. It won’t be 50 degrees track temperature, probably a mild 25. Lotus? Third row maximum. Alonso and Massa podium.
    I’m putting the house on Vettel.

    [Reply]

    justafan Reply:

    Your house is in jeopardy. Vettel never won in Hungary before.


  14.   14. Posted By: Wade Parmino
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 11:53 am 

    38-40 degrees Celsius at a super intensive circuit like Hungararing will be hell for drivers. There are no chances for a breather.
    Do drivers ever actually have water on board with them during the race?

    [Reply]

    Martin Reply:

    Yes.

    [Reply]

    Dan Reply:

    Yeah in every race.

    [Reply]

    Sebee Reply:

    Try sitting in the open stands!

    [Reply]

    brendan Reply:

    they have a water bottle with a tube,not sure if they use it cause it gets warm.

    [Reply]

    Ezio Auditore Reply:

    Actually it’s not just water. It’s some kind of salted water, which allows the driver to remain hydrated better.

    [Reply]

    Andras F. Reply:

    It will hard for the fans too at trackside…

    [Reply]

    dean cassady Reply:

    really good point.
    This is another extreme variable, which favours superior physical and mental conditioning.
    good one!

    It’s going to be good to watch.

    [Reply]

    Rudy Reply:

    Yeah! Some say Kimi’s bottle is filled with Vodka, ice-cold vodka, of course. Vettel’s? Obviously cold milk with cocoa…

    [Reply]

    Glennb Reply:

    Its Red Bull actually. Kimi prefers V.

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    It’s recycled to keep the weight down ;-)

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Martin
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 12:55 pm 

    The heat is on…….in Hungary. Therefore Lotus-Renault on the two top spots unless something unusual happens. James any news whether Renault and Lotus have reached an agreement about engines for 2014?

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    “unless something unusual happens” Like, Grosjean takes Kimi out at the first corner.

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: Quade
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 1:03 pm 

    I have a big quarrel with the pit stop times. What we have are:

    1. Red Bull 18.979 secs
    2. Mercedes 19.316
    3. Lotus 19.378
    4. Ferrari 19.476
    5. McLaren 19.692
    6. Sauber 19.816
    7. Toro Rosso 19.846
    8. Force India 19.910
    9. Marussia 19.953
    10. Williams 20.331
    11. Caterham 20.545

    …But if average times, instead of the fastest had been used for the list, we would be capturing the true pit stop status for each team. Red Bulls 18.979 sec would have become something more disastrous to reflect Mark Webbers wheel flying off in the direction of Mr Paul Allen; the time taken to recapture the errant thing; as well as the time taken to wheel the sorry looking, three wheeled Red Bull back into the pits.

    If we use average times, the costs of doing things too quickly and its strain on even trained humans gets correctly factored in.

    Surely, Red Bull shouldn’t be at the top of the pit stop league for the last race.

    –Rant over– :)

    [Reply]

    Wild Man Reply:

    It is common in statistics to ignore “extreme” results, as they will distort the numbers.

    Marks stop would fall into that category.

    [Reply]

    Quade Reply:

    No, the statistics would be wrong if it cannot point out deviations, especially those that are as glaring as Mark Webbers was.

    Lets stretch this with a hypothetical example. If we were to take Force India’s best pit stop times only over the season, it would totally mask the fact that their pit stops are truly atrocious (at one time, even leading to two DNF’s in a single race). In fact, Force India would come out looking like a team with average pit stops, especially as the DNF pit stops wouldn’t even count in the present scheme.

    [Reply]

    dean cassady Reply:

    good point, maybe the oberwebmeister can plug it into his stat machine and crank out both, so we can the deltas between fastest and average. Eh James?!?

    [Reply]

    Glennb Reply:

    So lets look at this more closely. RBR have:
    the fastest pitcrew,
    the fastest car,
    the fastest driver,
    the most successful driver pairing,
    the best desiger.
    What I cant understand is why are they so successful?
    Must be down to pure luck.

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: Elie
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 1:06 pm 

    40 deg and soft compound tyre. I think Kimi is a special for this. He almost caught Lewis last year in a might fast Mclaren. Hoping for lotus first 1 /2- they both laid down the gauntlet to Seb at the last race and I think they will do so again – bring it on !

    [Reply]

    dean cassady Reply:

    +1

    [Reply]


  18.   18. Posted By: K
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 1:27 pm 

    I don’t know anyone that likes this track. Why are we racing here again and again?

    [Reply]

    AlexD Reply:

    Been to the race. Never again in my life. It was poorly organized. Italy was something completely different:-)

    [Reply]

    Get Well Soon Murray Reply:

    We have to have soul destroying tracks like this to…. appreciate the better tracks?

    [Reply]

    Fireman Reply:

    Cheap beer?

    [Reply]

    Andras F. Reply:

    I like it!

    [Reply]

    dean cassady Reply:

    last year was an all time classic; go and look at a replay, before criticizing. we’ve got some really interesting variables at play this weekend, a lot of unknowns and poorly understoods.
    BuuddaPest is a funky town, non?

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: jay harte
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 2:14 pm 

    james who are you going for ,for the win ?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Lotus vs Red Bull, let’s go for Kimi..or Grosjean!

    [Reply]

    C Lin Reply:

    Kimi needs his 2nd win to make the championship more interesting!

    [Reply]

    C Lin Reply:

    Kimi needs his 2nd win to make the championship interesting!

    [Reply]

    Phil Glass Reply:

    James, you have Grosjean leading in both photos. Is that a coded tip for race winner?

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    Who said he is leading? He could be a lap down. :-)

    Elie Reply:

    Agree James – either Lotus is a special here

    [Reply]

    Glennb Reply:

    Webber to win from pole!

    [Reply]


  20.   20. Posted By: Irish con
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 2:25 pm 

    This must be 1 of red bulls worst tracks tho in terms of wins. They have only won it once in 2010 and I think that should be taken into consideration. I still expect them to be strong tho. Hoping for a kimi and alonso 1-2 to keep the championship alive coming to 2 races after the summer break that shouldn’t suit red bull as much even tho in Canada vettel won easily.

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: Get Well Soon Murray
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 6:24 pm 

    Is it me or does it seem ages ago since the last race.

    [Reply]

    iceman Reply:

    Yes and the wait for Spa will be even longer!

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: dean cassady
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 10:08 pm 

    It is shaping up to be mighty interesting; just the way I like it.
    Because of two extreme variables, which are closely related in terms of affecting the way race cars work, predictions are of lesser validity.
    We have new tires, though tested, not race tested.
    And of course, the heat, even for Hungary in the middle of the summer, it’s going to be hot, hot compared to anywhere F1 races.
    Just how often, as a percentage of races, is there track temperatures above 50 degrees; and it could be hotter than that?
    Added to new tires, and all the gizmos that can be added in a three week period, which included a rare in-season test; yet another variable!

    It was in Hungary last year, one of my favourite races of all time, finally made me a believer in Sebastian Vettel, coming from way back, displaying what had be sorely lacking, grit!
    Well, that lasted until Malaysia.
    Red Bull have got to be the favourites, for so many well known reasons.
    But who knows if the Hungarian Grand Prix this year, may once again reset the championship, as prelude the the second half of the season; hopefully, yes.
    Else, increasingly dominant Vettel-Red Bull victories, ending the championship in… Monza; ugh!
    Alonso requires a podium, minimum, just to hang on to an outside chance.
    We’ll know a lot further along the real story of Mercedes and their 2000km test with their current race drivers; if Mercedes are fighting for a podium, then they will still have come away from the entire tiregate scandal way ahead.
    If McLaren can’t fight for a podium, then they’d be idiotic to continue any development that wasn’t more or less directly transferable to their 2014 car. I don;t think they’ll be fighting for a podium, but maybe just behind a podium, in the 6th-4th, range, if things go well.
    Force India may surprise; Di Resta has finally won me over, with his driving this year. I can’t understand why he isn’t in the running to go to Ferrari, or even Red Bull, if Kimi doesn’t go; He’d be my second pick at Red Bull.
    I’m hoping to see two black and gold cars in the top two rows, and things get really interesting for the rest of season.
    I believe that Lotus MUST show a competitive car, this weekend, or… if you wanted to win the championship, and you are the best driver, what would you do?

    [Reply]


  23.   23. Posted By: Racer89
        Date: July 23rd, 2013 @ 10:56 pm 

    I think Kimi will win this one …

    [Reply]


  24.   24. Posted By: JohnBt
        Date: July 24th, 2013 @ 5:40 am 

    Hope Kimi and Alonso can score huge points to close up gap to Vettel.

    The usual suspects will be, Hamilton and Rosberg on the front row? only to drop off during race.

    Will Ferrari catch up being gentle on tyres with track temp close to 50 degrees. Last race at Nubur was like 42 degrees and they were slow.

    Kimi and Grosjean most likely will be on the podium.

    Red Bull will surely be amongst the top five.

    We’ll know on Sunday if it’s piping hot or there could be showers?

    [Reply]


  25.   25. Posted By: Elie
        Date: July 24th, 2013 @ 10:47 am 

    Who will blow an engine or a gearbox..Red Bull for one and a Mercedes the other !

    [Reply]


  26.   26. Posted By: gregmon
        Date: July 24th, 2013 @ 1:17 pm 

    Come on Mercedes AMG F1… We’re asking too much but we’re trying to set our mind for a ‘pleasant surprise’ Come on das Silber bullet!

    [Reply]

    Vlad Reply:

    Enjoy the FOUR stopper :D

    [Reply]

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