The Hungarian race is run on the Hungaroring, a 2.7-mile circuit that is very twisty and undulating, with a majority of medium- and slow-speed corners that result in a top speed of about 192 mph, leaving only Monaco as slower.
Overtaking is difficult, with the best chance of a successful move found in the first sector, at the end of the main straight. Here, the cars brake into a demanding downhill right hander followed in rapid succession by two more corners, before the track rises toward the second sector.
Due to the low speeds, there's a greater reliance on mechanical grip than downforce, which makes tire management particularly important. Pirelli has nominated its softer compounds for the race, with the C3 as the White hard, the C4 as the Yellow medium, and the C5 as the Red soft.
Hungaroring, home of the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix
This year, there's a new tire allocation rule known as ATA (Alternative Tire Allocation), which F1 is trying for the first time. The number of dry tire sets available for each car is reduced to 11 for the whole weekend (three hard, four medium, and four soft), instead of the usual 13. Used sets also need to be returned after practice, limiting the amount available for qualifying and the race.
In addition, drivers have to use the hard compound during the first qualifying session, medium during the second, and soft during the third, assuming a wet tire isn't required. The current weather forecast calls for fine conditions during both Saturday's qualifying session and Sunday's race.
This weekend will also mark Daniel Ricciardo's return to the driver seat. Currently a reserve driver for Red Bull, starting with the Hungarian Grand Prix the Australian driver will replace rookie Nyck De Vries at AlphaTauri for the rest of the season.
Going into the weekend, Red Bull's Max Verstappen leads the 2023 Drivers' Championship with 255 points. Fellow Red Bull driver Sergio Perez is second with 156 points and Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso is third with 137 points. In the Constructors' Championship, Red Bull leads with 411 points, versus the 203 of Mercedes-Benz AMG and 181 of Aston Martin. Last year's winner in Hungary was Verstappen, driving for Red Bull.