Lewis Hamilton wants to come out of this weekend heading the F1 Driver Standings – and he might well do so as the Hungaroring track is one of his favourites.
Hamilton has chalked up five grand prix wins out of 10 races on the slow but technically difficult track a few miles outside the Hungarian capital of Budapest.
Sitting second in the standings just one point behind leader Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari on 177, Hamilton seems to have hit form early on in the season and wants to carry this through. He already has four wins under his belt to Vettel’s three from 10 grand prix.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas has two and Red Bull’s Daniel Riccardio one.
Vettel has won at the Hungaroring once.
Riccardio sets pace
The Hungaroring is a comparatively short circuit for F1 at 2.7 miles. The straights are short and offer limited scope for overtaking, while the bends are tight and corkscrew on and on.
In practice, Riccardio has set the time to beat with the fastest lap of 1:18.486.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was 0.234 seconds behind him, with Lewis Hamilton third. Hamilton’s title rival Vettel was sixth, complaining of a lack of rear grip, had a spin and looked like he was running too wide and nearly off the track at some corners.
The Red Bull team have worked on a major aerodynamic upgrade of their cars recently, and are fighting criticism that their new front wings are illegal.
Rivals claim the wings flex on corners and the parameters are outside the rules.
Red Bull car controversy
The team dismiss the complaints as troublemaking.
“We haven’t been told to stiffen the front wing,” said a spokesman.
“There’s some optical illusions when people have got carried away thinking the front wing is flexing.
“But if you look at the static point of the wing, it’s actually pointed in a backed-off position.
“There’s been no official instruction from the organisers and it passed all the tests. It gives an illusion of backing off but if you look at it in a stationary position, it’s doing the same thing.
“All the bits have to work in conjunction with each other.
“It passes the test so it’s legal.”