|Circuit||Hungaroring – Budapest
|Distance||306,630 km / 190,572 miles|
|7||Kimi Raikkonen||F14 T||308||Scuderia Ferrari||6.|
|14||Fernando Alonso||F14 T||307||Scuderia Ferrari||2.|
Marco Mattiacci: “It was a great race and very pleasing to see our team fight back from an extremely complicated Saturday. Kimi and Fernando demonstrated just what they are capable of and the whole team was up to the task. However, this result is just a step on a journey which started a few months ago. Fernando’s second place is a confidence booster and a sign that the major effort everyone is making to bring Ferrari back to the top is moving in the right direction, however we have to be realistic about it. Here, the weather and the track conditions leveled out the performance differences and that’s why we must not delude ourselves. Now we must just go back home, set on always doing better.”
Fernando Alonso: “This podium means a lot to me and the whole team, because after so many difficult races, we managed to get the most out of everything, also taking a few risks and second place seems like a win. To do 31 laps at the end on used Soft tyres was a great challenge. At that point, the strategy suggested that if we had made a third stop, we could have finished fourth, but we decided to run to the flag instead. This race shows that anything is possible when there are unusual conditions like today, with a wet start and the appearance of the Safety Car. We managed to make the most of all opportunities that presented themselves, taking the best decisions even at the most difficult moments. Sure, the characteristics of the circuit, with its limited overtaking opportunities, helped us and that’s why we have to be realistic and continue to work on the car, to improve in all aspects.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Today’s race was difficult, but much more fun than the others, as I had a good feeling with the car, the pace was good and I felt I could push. After the way qualifying went yesterday, sixth was the most we could hope for. At the start, I got away well but then I lost vital time behind a Sauber and when I caught Massa’s Williams, I couldn’t get past: here in general, overtaking is not easy and we lack speed down the straights. Sure, this is a good team result, but we must not get too excited, because even if there are signs of improvement, we still have much work to do in a lot of areas to get to where we want to be. We’ve had a very complicated start to the season, but I hope the second part of the championship will go better. I have great faith in the team and I feel we are going in the right direction. Even if it’s going to take some time, I’m sure the results will come.”
Pat Fry: “After mixed fortunes in qualifying yesterday, today the team showed it could react extremely well and keep a cool head when faced with the variable situations that arose during the race. It’s never easy in cases like this, with rain at the start, the Safety Car, having to avoid traffic and especially with having to keep faster cars behind us, but the team performed very competently. The F14 T demonstrated the good race pace it had already shown on Friday and that has helped us re-take third place in the Constructors’ classification. After the summer break, we come to two races that will be difficult for us, on two tracks where it will be important to make the most of any opportunity, just as we did today. On behalf of the team, I wish to congratulate Fernando and Kimi. We had promised them redemption and we were true to our word. We know that there is still a long way to go, but we will spare nothing in our efforts, continuing to work hard to improve, day by day.”
|Pit-stop||1st stop||Lap 9||Old Soft|
|2nd stop||Lap 38||Old Soft|
|Pit-stop||1st stop||Lap 8||New Soft|
|2nd stop||Lap 41||New Soft|
|Weather: air 23/25 °C, track 27/35 °C. Cloudy|
Budapest, 27 July – Fernando Alonso finished the Hungarian Grand Prix in second place to give Scuderia Ferrari its second podium of the season after China, a fantastic morale booster going into the summer break. It was a truly incredible drive from the Spaniard who made the most of the slippery conditions at the start to create the building blocks for the rest of the race. He led for a total of 27 laps, only giving best to eventual winner Daniel Ricciardo on lap 67, the Australian Red Bull driver running on much newer tyres, having made three stops, while Fernando fought off strong opposition from the returning Mercedes duo behind him. To complete a very positive day for the Scuderia, Kimi Raikkonen also put in a strong drive from sixteenth to sixth, to bring home valuable points for the Constructors’ Championship in which Ferrari re-takes third place. Lewis Hamilton completed the podium trio. Alonso is now the only driver to have scored points in every race this season.
The 70 lap Hungarian Grand Prix turned out to be a fantastic advertisement for the sport of Formula 1 with battles and overtaking throughout the field, with people running different tyre strategies. This weekend’s duel between Fernando and Ricciardo was never going to last as long as their fight in Germany last weekend, as the Australian had a huge tyre advantage. As for third placed Hamilton, the Englishman took his Mercedes from a pit lane start to the podium, a remarkable achievement….nearly as remarkable as Fernando’s! In the post-race press conference, the man from Oviedo didn’t feel it was one of his best races, although the assembled media didn’t agree.
Fernando got a fantastic start from fifth in the wet, with everyone running Intermediates and was third by Turn 2 behind Rosberg and Bottas, as Vettel had a poor start dropping to fourth. Kimi made up two places to be 14th. On lap 2, Fernando lost fourth to Vettel when he ran wide and Kimi was 13th.
On lap 8, the Safety Car come out after Ericsson had a huge crash in the Caterham after Turn 3. This worked against Alonso and the other leaders, as they had just gone past the pits, while those further back, including Kimi, all charged straight into pit lane to fit slicks, so that Fernando had to wait a further lap before pitting.
Lap 23 saw the return of the Safety Car as Perez had a huge crash coming onto the pit straight. Ricciardo and Massa came in for fresh rubber, as did Bottas, which promoted Fernando to the lead, ahead of Vergne, Rosberg, Vettel and Hamilton so that Kimi was ninth.
Fernando came in for his second stop, taking on new Softs on lap 38 and it was here that he and the Ferrari strategists secured his podium finish. Realistically, he would have to make one more tyre stop, aiming for a possible fourth place finish. But with his usual skill and grit he did an incredible job of nursing a set of Soft tyres for a massive 32 laps all the way to the chequered flag.
By lap 56 Alonso’s lead over Hamilton came down to 1.2 seconds. Lap 61 the gap was just 0.8 with Ricciardo only 0.5 behind Hamilton. Lap 66 and Fernando’s mirrors were finally full of Red Bull as Ricciardo managed to get ahead of Hamilton. The Australian was on much fresher rubber and inevitably went past Fernando on lap 68. That left three nail-biting laps for the Spaniard to make his Ferrari as wide as possible, just holding off Hamilton to the flag.
Budapest, 27 July –Scuderia Ferrari recorded its best result of the season today. Fernando Alonso finished second, having led for a while until three laps from the end, while Kimi Raikkonen staged a great charge up the order to go from 16th on the grid to sixth at the flag.
It was a spectacular race, in part because it started on a wet track with everyone running Intermediate tyres. After a few laps, the Safety Car was required when Marcus Ericsson crashed heavily in the Caterham. The SC came out after the top four, including Fernando, had passed the pits, which jumbled the order, promoting Ricciardo to the lead.
The Safety Car came out again when Sergio Perez crashed the Force India on the pit straight, with Ricciardo changing tyres and mixing up the strategies. When the race was on again, Alonso therefore found himself leading, although Ricciardo, on a different strategy, retook the position, handing it back to the Spaniard with 15 laps remaining. Raikkonen meanwhile had his best race of the year, making the most of the run of pit stops to get as high up as third at one point.
On lap 60 of 70, Alonso led from Hamilton and Ricciardo, who on fresh rubber was catching the leaders. The battle was very close as Fernando’s tyres were worn out as he still defended bravely from Hamilton. Then, when with four laps to go, the Australian passed the Englishman, it was more difficult for Alonso who could not hold off the Red Bull which sailed past one lap later to give Ricciardo his second career win. However, Alonso used all his skill to fend off the Mercedes. The second and sixth places mean Scuderia Ferrari is back in third ahead of Williams in the Constructors’ classification. Now comes the three week break, so that hostilities resume with the Belgian Grand Prix on 24 August.
Fernando Alonso: “After a chaotic qualifying like today’s, you always think you could have done better. But if you then analyse everything that happened, finishing fifth is a good result, because we made the most of every opportunity that came our way. Getting to start on the clean side of the track is very important as it gives you a chance to make up places at the start and to race with the leaders. The rain expected for tomorrow definitely has an effect on strategy: so far, in the hot and dry conditions, there was talk of two or three stops, but tomorrow everything changes. Both Kimi and I need to score points for the team, because we want to get back the third place in the Constructors’ championship that we lost last weekend. Even starting far back, a good strategy could help us reach that goal.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “I am very disappointed with the outcome of qualifying, especially because this weekend I was going well and had a good feeling from the car. After the first run on the Medium tyres the team told me that my time should be good enough to get me through to the next part and so we decided to take a risk and not go out for a second run on the softer compound. Unfortunately, it didn’t pay off and I couldn’t get past Q1. It’s going to be difficult, because there’s not much chance of overtaking here at the Hungaroring. We definitely made a mistake, but now I only want to look ahead. Tomorrow, even if it will be tough, we will do our best to try and move up the order.”
Pat Fry: “Mixed fortunes for our team in today’s qualifying, with our drivers ending up no less than twelve places apart. In the first part, the fact that Maldonado and Hamilton were out led us to keep both cars in the garage, banking on the times set with the Medium tyres. With Fernando this worked, but unfortunately, with Kimi we were caught out by the evolution of the track. It’s very disappointing not to have got through with him because he’s been going better this weekend. Clearly tomorrow he will be on the attack: on this track, it’s not easy to move up the order because of the traffic, but our race pace is good and we will do all we can to turn things around. In the second part of qualifying, the track continued to improve and Fernando got into Q3 easily enough. In the end, when the rain came, we decided to go out immediately, but then it was impossible to finish the lap. The hot track dried out very quickly but, concerned it might rain again, we decided to go out on track earlier than planned and Fernando ended up fifth. Rain is forecast for tomorrow which means it is even harder to make predictions, but whatever the weather we must try and get Kimi back up into the points and to get a good haul with Fernando.”
|ALONSO – Chassis 307||RAIKKONEN – Chassis 308|
|Q1||P10||1:26.087||New Medium – 4 laps||P17||1:26.792||New Medium – 5 laps|
|Q2||P6||1:24.249||New Soft – 3 lapsNew Soft – 2 laps||–||–||–|
|Q3||P5||1:23.909||New Soft – 2 lapsOld Soft – 3 lapsNew Soft – 3 laps||–||–||–|
|Weather: 28/31°C, track 39/50 °C. Cloudy, light rain at the end|
Budapest, 26 July – For the fourth time this season, Fernando Alonso qualified fifth this afternoon to secure a place on the clean side of Row 3. It’s a good place to be to pick up points in the final race before the summer break. Possibly making life easier for the Ferrari man tomorrow is the misfortune of others, in the shape of Lewis Hamilton failing to set any time, after his Mercedes caught fire.
It means the championship leaders have only one Silver Arrow to their bow at the front of the grid, in the form of the inevitable Nico Rosberg, on pole for the sixth time this year. It’s an all-German front row, with Sebastian Vettel in second place for Red Bull after a somewhat frantic session, when a light rain shower hit the track just as Q3 was starting. Row 2 features the consistent Valtteri Bottas, third for Williams, with the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo alongside him. Fernando shares his row with the Finn’s team-mate Felipe Massa and the Spaniard will be hoping to use the advantage of the clean side of the track to beat the Williams in a drag race off the line.
Kimi Raikkonen will start tomorrow’s race from a long way back on the grid because he was bumped out of Q2 after Marussia’s Jules Bianchi put in a very good lap right in the closing moments of the first session. The Ferrari strategy at this point, like that of other front runners, was to secure a place in Q2 without resorting to using the softer compound Pirelli. In simple terms, it was a gamble that worked with Alonso but not with Raikkonen, as the track conditions evolved more than expected.
On the positive side, Raikkonen has clearly been much happier with the handling of his car this weekend, out-pacing his team-mate in one free practice session and being very close to him in the other two. Therefore expect some fireworks as the Finn tries to fight his way up the order, something he is certainly capable of. If it’s dry for the race then the tyres he was unable to use this afternoon will come in useful and if it’s wet, then the skills of world champion might come in useful! In fact, it looks as though Kimi has already moved up one place to sixteenth on the grid, as Kevin Magnussen, who crashed after qualifying tenth, starts from pit lane.
Budapest, 26 July –Mixed fortunes for Scuderia Ferrari in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. When the lights go out at 2pm tomorrow, Fernando Alonso will start from fifth on the grid, while Kimi could do no better than 17th, after taking a strategic gamble that didn’t pay off.
The sky looked threatening at the start of Q1, with the forecast claiming a 30% chance of rain. There was drama right away, as Pastor Maldonado stopped his Lotus at the side of the track and Lewis Hamilton had to park his Mercedes at the entrance to pit lane with a fire at the rear, not even having set a time.
Midway through Q1, Fernando was comfortably in a Q2 position, with Kimi 14th. The team then decided to keep the Finn in the garage, confident that the Caterhams and Marussias would not manage to beat his 1.26.792, which would have seen Kimi no lower than 16th. However, Jules Bianchi put in a great lap which meant that, by just a handful of hundredths, Raikkonen failed to make the cut to Q2. Now, the Finn has nothing to lose and will be attacking all the way in tomorrow’s race.
Alonso then proceeded into the final part of the session which started on a damp track, as a few drops of rain had begun to fall. He managed a 1.23.909, which would be good enough for fifth place on the grid. Ahead of him, Nico Rosberg took his tenth career pole in the Mercedes, with a time of 1.22.715, followed by Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull,) Valtteri Bottas (Williams) and Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull.)
Budapest, 26 July –Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen finished the final free practice session prior to qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix in sixth and seventh places respectively. Fernando did 11 laps, the best being a 1.24.769, while Kimi did 19, the quickest in 1.24.818.
In the first part of the session both Scuderia Ferrari drivers did a race stint simulation using Medium tyres, the harder of the two compounds Pirelli has in Hungary. Then, in the final 15 minutes the focus switched to qualifying, doing some laps on the Soft tyre.
Quickest once again was Lewis Hamilton with a 1.24.048 in the Mercedes, with team-mate Nico Rosberg 47 thousandths of a second slower in second place. Third and fourth were the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo. Also ahead of the Ferrari duo was Valtteri Bottas in the Williams. The battle for pole begins at 14h00.
Fernando Alonso: “Going from one race to the next doesn’t usually involve many changes, but here, unlike what usually happens on a Friday, we had to work a lot on the set-up, to try and adapt the car to the circuit, the tyres and the high temperatures. So there was rather more work than usual, but it produced results and we improved run after run. Sure, there’s still a lot to do to be as competitive as we’d like, but I think we’re on the right road. There’s less grip here than in previous years, but it’s the same for everyone and now we have to try and prepare the car as well as possible for qualifying and the race. High temperatures like those we saw today are always challenging for the tyres, but the forecast is for cooler conditions from tomorrow and maybe rain on Sunday, so we have to be ready for every eventuality.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “In the first free practice session, we managed to do a good job, testing various solutions on the programme and I was feeling reasonably pleased with the handling of the car. Then, in the afternoon, I went out for a second run on the Medium tyres, because the behaviour of this compound seemed worse as the temperature went up and that affected the handling of the car, while on the Soft I had no problems. In the second part of the session I did a race simulation with both compounds: unfortunately when I fitted the Mediums I had a problem with the left rear and I had to pit earlier than planned. The telemetry didn’t show any problem on the car, so I hope that the data will point us in the right direction for the next two days.”
Pat Fry: “The Hungaroring always presents a major challenge for drivers and also engineers, especially during free practice. All the teams know this track lacks grip and, especially on Friday, one has to adapt to the gradually improving conditions, as the rubber gets put down on the surface. Today, because of instability that seemed to affect other cars as well as ours, we had to pay particular attention to set-up, trying to improve the balance at the entry and exit to the corners. This track is very demanding on the aerodynamic front and today’s high temperatures had a significant effect on tyre behaviour, although it’s due to get cooler for the rest of the weekend. The lap is particularly short and will make managing the ERS system very interesting during the race and this is an area where we are learning a lot race after race. The performance level over short and long runs are similar to those seen in recent races and it looks like being a very tough weekend. Overtaking opportunities are strictly limited and so, more than elsewhere, you need to get the best possible result in qualifying.”
|ALONSO – Chassis 307||RAIKKONEN – Chassis 308|
|First Session||P4||1:26.872||23 laps||P3||1:26.421||29 laps|
|Weather: air 26/28 °C, track 36/47 °C. Sunny|
|Second Session||P4||1:25.437||26 laps||P6||1:25.730||30 laps|
|Weather: air 29/30°C, track 53/54 °C. Sunny|
Budapest, 25 July – A Formula 1 car is a temperamental beast at the best of times, but getting one set up properly for the Hungaroring uses up a lot of brain power. On a Friday, with changing weather conditions and an improving track, getting the cars in shape is like doing a Crossword Puzzle: it doesn’t matter if the “Across” answer seems correct, if it does not line up with the “Down” solution.
That was definitely the case today and although the Ferrari crew can only really know what its own cars are doing, you only had to watch the TV screens to see that, throughout the length of the pit lane, teams were facing similar conundrums. Essentially the two conflicting factors here are that, as more and more laps are completed, not just by the Formula 1 cars but also by those in the support races, the very dirty and green track surface gradually cleans up and provides more grip. However, at the same time, during the day the temperature rises – the track exceeded 50 degrees this afternoon – which had a negative effect, mainly on the harder of the two Pirelli compounds on offer this weekend.
The engineering “trick” is not to over react to the changing conditions, but to estimate where the track will be for qualifying tomorrow and Sunday’s race. That’s no easy task either as it’s meant to get cooler and possibly even wet on Sunday. For the record, Fernando Alonso completed 49 laps today and ended up fourth fastest, behind the inevitable pace-setting Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, with Sebastian Vettel third for Red Bull. Kimi Raikkonen was sixth, doing ten laps more than his team-mate, with the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen keeping the two Prancing Horse apart.
Budapest, 25 July – The Scuderia Ferrari drivers ended the second free practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix in fourth and sixth places. As expected, it was hotter this afternoon, with the track hitting 56 degrees.
Fernando did 26 laps with a best one in 1.25.437, while Kimi completed 30, stopping the clocks in 1.25.730.
This afternoon, the Scuderia drivers and indeed the others too, continued working on set-up and running a tyre comparison, using the Softs as well as the Mediums.
In the last half hour the focus switched to long runs and a simulation of the first stint of the GP, running on a heavy fuel load. Kimi and Fernando also worked on the start procedure, coming through the pit lane several times to practice getting off the line.
Just like in the morning, Lewis Hamilton was fastest for Mercedes in 1.24.482, again with team-mate Nico Rosberg second ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull. In between the two Ferraris came Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren.
Budapest, 25 July–The Scuderia Ferrari drivers ended the first free practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix in third and fourth places. Kimi Raikkonen completed 29 laps, with a best time of 1.26.421, while Fernando did 23 on his way to a 1.26.872. It was a trouble-free session for both drivers.
The track was still very dirty during the 90 minutes of the session, while temperatures were not too high. The team worked on set-up and on evaluating the Medium tyre supplied by Pirelli this weekend, along with the Soft.
Fastest was Lewis Hamilton who did a 1.25.814 in the Mercedes ahead of his team-mate Nico Rosberg (1.25.997.) The second session gets underway at 14h00 when track temperatures should hit the levels that can be expected for tomorrow’s qualifying and the start of Sunday’s race.
Budapest, 25 July No drivers are indifferent to the Hungaroring, either they love it or hate it, along with the hot weather that it’s famous for. “The Hungarian circuit is definitely my favourite,” says Scuderia Ferrari test driver Pedro de la Rosa, making his feelings clear to www.ferrari.com. “And that’s not just because I got on the podium, but also because I think it’s a fantastic track, with lots of different corner types, some requiring hard braking and some that are low speed. There is no lack of fast turns, especially number 5, which is also blind and there are some changes of incline, which increase the impression of speed.
“As for the asphalt, it usually offers little grip when running starts on Friday, but then improves bit by bit as the cars put rubber down,” continues Pedro. “Furthermore, the quality of the surface is very good now, while in the past it was full of irregularities. Overtaking here is very difficult, because the straight after turn 15 going to the first corner is not very long. As a result, qualifying well is particularly important in this race. Normally, it’s very hot when we race in Hungary, at the end of July or early August and the drivers need to stay hydrated, drinking the entire litre and a half of liquid available in the cockpit. Luckily the climate is dry and so, less tiring from a physical point of view.” Of course, it’s not only the drivers that can suffer in the heat, as the cars do too. “One very important aspect in Hungary is cooling for the engine and brakes, because the lack of any significant straights means there are few opportunities to push air through the radiators and cooling ducts.”
Mogyorod, 24 July – Just four days after talking to the press about his crowd-pleasing duel with Ricciardo in Hockenheim, Fernando Alonso was back in front of the media for his usual Thursday meeting to kick start the Hungarian GP weekend. The Spaniard’s view on the upcoming weekend was as analytical as usual. “Obviously the car will be identical to Hockeinhem with only four days between the races and the circuit layout is not particularly good for us with a traction-demanding circuit,” began the Scuderia Ferrari driver. “On the other hand, every race has been a bit of a surprise. Some circuits we thought we’d be more competitive and we were less and vice versa so we just go into the weekend with a positive mood and see what the final result is.”
As the sport heads into the summer break, Alonso was asked what had surprised him most so far this season. “Probably Mercedes has surprised everybody,” commented the Spaniard. “When we were at the Jerez and Bahrain tests with these new cars and very complex technology that we were all struggling with, they were straightaway quite OK and obviously in 9 races, they won 8 and they’ve always been on the front row so probably that is the biggest surprise in this year. It’s also motivation for us because we can do a much better job. We’re making some progress, but we need to get on top of the problems and try to arrive to their level.”
As for how his relationship worked with Kimi, Alonso explained that it was more or less the same as with any other team-mate. “Definitely Kimi and I work together a lot and all the meetings are quite long this year because we have a lot of things to sort out after the races,” he explained. “We’ve been constantly making our suggestions and comments from what we see on the track and try to help the engineers to transfer that to Maranello and translate those comments into ideas for the car. It’s not a big change compared to the work I did with Felipe or other teammates.”
Mogyorod, 24 July – Kimi Raikkonen had his usual meeting with the media this afternoon, in the hot conditions that are likely to typify this Hungarian weekend. As to how the Scuderia Ferrari man expects to perform at the Hungaroring, it’s the usual Thursday guessing game. “Hopefully, we’ll get that good feeling and get the car where we want and just have a clean weekend without any issues in any practices and can try things where we want,” he began. “Even though it’s twisty and people say you can’t overtake here, we’ve seen in the past that it can change a lot in the race after qualifying so we’ll see how it goes.”
On the much discussed topic that the Finn has found it hard to get a good feeling form his F14 T, the Ferrari man felt progress was being made. “There’s sometimes a good feeling and unfortunately it doesn’t last long, but last weekend was a better feeling again, we changed something in the car so hopefully that will put us in the right direction and we can get to where we should be.”
Kimi has spent a lot of time in Maranello and what he saw in the factory has put him in a positive frame of mind when it comes to next year. “I have 100% belief in the people in the factory and I know that we have the tools and the people to do the job we’re supposed to do. I’m sure we can be where we should be, hopefully already next year. With Marco (Mattiacci,) he didn’t have much knowledge of F1 when he came in but he has a smart head. I think he’s doing good work, making good decisions, but it takes time to get involved and get people’s trust but I think he’s the guy we need.”
Maranello, 22 July – The Tour de France, currently in full swing, has a daily prize at the end of each stage known as the Combativity Award, given out to the most aggressive rider. If Formula 1 did the same, chances are Fernando Alonso would be winning that accolade, for his duels with Vettel in the British GP and with Ricciardo in last Sunday’s German GP.
“It was good to bring Fernando home a little bit ahead of where he started in Hockenheim,” reflects Scuderia Ferrari’s Technical Director James Allison. “Sunday’s race was exciting for us because there were lots of close-fought battles, plenty of overtaking and as far as we were concerned, lots of little dramas for us to manage, arriving at the finish line having monitored fuel consumption and the ERS system, all while keeping an eye on the ever present threat of rain during the race.
“However, it was disappointing that we didn’t manage to get Kimi into the points even if some of that was down to the damage sustained to his front wing earlier in the race.” In Germany, Kimi confirmed that changes to the F14 T meant that he was beginning to feel more comfortable with the handling of the car, so hopefully in Hungary, a race that sees the biggest turnout of the year from Finnish fans, he can get a result worthy of his talent.
Hot weather was the dominant factor in Germany, apart from race day and similar conditions can be expected at the Hungaroring. “It’s usually very hot which is a challenge for the drivers but also for the cars and their cooling systems,” confirms Allison. “The heat will most especially affect the Energy Recovery System, because it’s a short lap with no real straights and there will be a fair amount of energy passing to and from the battery. The track itself is usually very dusty and dirty for the start of free practice, but then evolves very quickly as the rubber goes down.”
The mathematical halfway mark of the season was passed a while ago, but the Hungarian weekend leads into the official mid-season two week break. “One week after the Hungarian Grand Prix, we are not allowed to do any work in the factory,” explains the Englishman. “So we will be trying to fit quite a lot into that week, to be ready to be up and running again immediately after we return, to be prepared for the next Grand Prix in Belgium”.
“This stage of the season always marks the transition point between the current racing car and the next season’s car, with resources in the factory transitioning from one to the other,” continues Allison. “So it’s a time of much work on both projects, with plenty of effort still going into improving lap time on the 2014 car, while pushing ahead with the 2015 project.”
Maranello, 21 July –Sunday sees the 29th edition of the Hungarian Grand Prix. The race has always been held at the Hungaroring, on the outskirts of Budapest and the track has gone through various modifications, but nothing significant. Scuderia Ferrari has won here five times, making an 18% hit rate.
Behind the Iron Curtain. The race first appeared on the calendar in 1986 and it caused considerable fuss as it was the first time Formula 1 had gone behind the Iron Curtain, at a time when the Cold War was still real and the sports world had only recently dealt with the political boycotting of the Olympics in Moscow in 1980 and Los Angeles in 1984. However, it proved to be a good choice, as the race still draws one of the biggest crowds of the year, even if the circuit itself is narrow, short, slow, always dirty and provides very few overtaking opportunities. Nevertheless, some of the greatest exploits in Formula 1 have taken place here.
The achievement of 1989. One of those exploits was down to Nigel Mansell and Ferrari. The Englishman had nothing to smile about after qualifying down in 12th place. However, he made a good start and immediately made up four places. Out in front, Riccardo Patrese led from Ayrton Senna. Mansell staged an incredible climb up the order, lapping a second faster than anyone else. Once Patrese went out, the battle for the win came down to Senna and Mansell, but it seemed impossible that the Ferrari man would manage to get past. But then came a remarkable piece of driving, as Mansell swept past Senna, when the Brazilian hesitated for a moment coming up to lap Stefan Johansson in the Onyx. Incredibly, Nigel won by 25 seconds from Ayrton.
The Schumacher era. The world had to wait until 1998 to see Ferrari on top again in Hungary and this time it was down to Michael Schumacher. The German produced another of his bravura performances. He had more pace than the McLarens ahead of him, so Ross Brawn decided to switch him from a two stop to a three stop strategy. In order for it to succeed, the German would have to run at qualifying pace and he managed it, thus beating both Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. 2001 was a particularly enjoyable time in Hungary for Schumacher and Ferrari, as Michael won from team-mate Rubens Barrichello to become World Champion with four races in hand. The following year the two men crossed the line in formation, with the win going to the Brazilian. 2004 was the last time a Ferrari won and Michael Schumacher mopped up the records, as he equaled Hakkinen’s record of 9 fastest race laps in a season and Ascari’s seven consecutive victories.
Fernando’s First. The Hungaroring was the venue for Fernando Alonso’s first ever Formula 1 win, which came in 2003, as the Spaniard brought Renault back to the winner’s circle for the first time in 20 years. It rounded off a perfect weekend, which began with Alonso taking pole and, at 22 years and 26 days, he became the youngest Grand Prix winner in history.
The big scare. The Hungaroring is also the venue of one the Scuderia’s most worrying moments. In 2009, during qualifying, Felipe Massa was hit by damper, which had come off Ruben’s Barrichello’s Brawn. The Brazilian was knocked unconscious and crashed into the barriers. He was taken to hospital and eventually made a complete recovery, returning, as normal, to the cockpit the following year.