2012 Hungarian Grand Prix Preview
This weekend is the last F1 race before the summer break, and it’s the turn for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Firstly let’s look back Germany last weekend…
Funnily enough a similar pattern emerged to Silverstone with the rain following the teams and very little dry running before the actual race. Once again it was Alonso battling the Red Bulls in the qualifying rain and the same man came out on top. The race was looking like a very similar affair to Silverstone with Alonso leading from Pole and being closed down in the final stint but this time Alonso was fairly untroubled and came through for his third win of the season and once more extended his championship lead. This marked Alonso’s 22nd race in a row that he had scored points, an outstanding record which must come to an end soon. I have a funny feeling that Hungary might be the place this run ends but only time will tell.
The German Grand Prix did come with some controversy and there is little surprise that this mostly surrounded Red Bull. Once again they have developed something that other teams (and the FIA this time) believe is against the rules but the FIA are powerless because the rule isn’t defined well enough. Is this just part of the sport and exactly what teams should be doing, pushing and bending every rule to the limit until stopped? If this is the case why is it always Red Bull pushing these boundaries? The FIA have already made a rule change to stop Red Bull using this throttle map in future races and another question needs to be asked, does developing something that can be used once before being banned really give enough of an advantage to make it worth the hassle? There is a great article on the subject here.
The second controversy came when a lapped (early puncture) Lewis Hamilton was out of the pits behind the front two and lapping faster than the front runners. Should he hang back and let them go before putting in his lap times or un lap himself and continue with his race? This was Lewis Hamilton so option one was never going to happen and as it turned out, option two worked beautifully for his team mate Jenson Button to close the gap on Sebastian Vettel and subsequently jump him at the next pit stops. With Lewis being the faster car there was nothing wrong with him un-lapping himself and I’m pretty sure with roles reversed, Vettel would not have taken his own advice and dropped back.
The third was Sebastian Vettel once again and overtaking Jenson Button on the penultimate lap. Jenson was struggling badly on his tyres in the last stint and Seb closed up quite quickly, he made a pass but all four of his tyres were significantly off the track when he accelerated out of the corner and made the pass stick. Without that run off area, the pass simply would not have happened and surely both Seb and his team knew that the pass would be deemed illegal. Seb could have given the place back and most likely passed Button again on the last lap; effectively he traded the three extra points gained for second for a penalty which saw him finish 5th.
Here are thee results for the German Grand Prix:
- 1st Fernando Alonso
- 2nd Jenson Button
- 3rd Kimi Raikkonen
- Fastest lap Michael Schumacher
- Fastest cumulative pit stops Jenson Button
I am happier with my predictions as opposed to Silverstone despite picking only a correct 3rd place. Take Alonso out of the picture and my thinking of Vettel, Raikkonen and a McLaren in the mix were pretty good. It is really difficult to pick the podium places and get them in the right order as well.
Let us take a look at this weekend’s Hungarian grand prix at the Hungaroring, it’s looking likely to be hot and perhaps the hottest race of the year so far. This has biased some of my thinking making similarities to the European Grand Prix in Valencia with the same tyre compounds (soft and medium) also being used. The last few years this race has been dominated by Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari unsurprisingly but no doubt Lotus will be in the mix again and I feel that Grojean will have the pace again as in Valencia and hopefully last the race without incident. McLaren showed a bit of a return to form and without the qualifying rain looked as though they could have dominated the race given higher grid positions. Hamilton will be desperate to put his title bid back on track before the summer break and I am definitely backing him for a podium with my only question mark being the cars tyre degradation after Jenson dropping off at the weekend and Hamilton’s disaster in Valencia. I expect Vettel to be pretty peerless this weekend and just have this funny feeling that Fernando Alonso’s points streak will come to an end with him retiring!
Here are my predictions:
- 1st Sebastian Vettel
- 2nd Roman Grojean
- 3rd Lewis Hamilton
- 4th Jenson Button
- 5th Kimi Raikkonen
Fastest lap Sebastian Vettel
Let us know your predictions in the comments below and we will see how my predictions turned out in a few weeks time.
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