McLaren at the 2013 Formula One Hungarian Grand PrixEnlarge Photo
After their three week break, teams are now in Mogyoród, Hungary for the 2013 Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix. Once again the race will be taking place at the Hungaroring, where conditions in July are typically hot and dry.
The Hungaroring became the first circuit behind the former Iron Curtain to host a F1 race, with the inaugural Hungarian Grand Prix taking place back in 1986. Since then it’s been a fixture on the F1 calendar and that doesn’t look set to change anytime soon despite next year’s season gaining some new races.
The 2.7-mile circuit is the slowest of the season, yet it’s also one of the most demanding. The tortuous layout is an uncompromising succession of corners that tests cars and drivers to the limit, and the reliance on slow-corner traction makes it a solid test of a car’s mechanical grip.
Then there’s the heat, which puts additional stress on cars and drivers. The current weather forecast for Sunday’s race is clear sunny skies and a peak temperature of 99 degrees F (37 degrees C).
Pirelli is introducing new tires for the race, and this has already got feathers ruffled. Most of the teams sampled them during the recent young driver tests but Mercedes AMG missed out because of its previous unauthorized test.
The sole tire supplier has confirmed it’s brought its P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tires to Hungary, which it says provides the best compromise between performance and durability. Though the high temperature of the track surface to the work done by the rubber, wear and degradation is generally low here because of the low the average speeds.
Note, since the incidents in the pit lane at the previous German Grand Prix, the pit lane speed limit has been reduced, media access is restricted and proposals are being discussed to reduce the speed with which pit stops themselves are completed.
Going into qualifying tomorrow and Sunday’s eventual race, Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel leads the Drivers’ Championship with a total of 157 points and is followed by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in second with 123 points and Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen in third with 116 points.
In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing is sitting on 250 points versus the 183 of Mercedes AMG and 180 of Ferrari.