The Formula One World Championship is gearing up for its last round before the summer break this weekend (July 30-August 1). The 2021 F1 Hungarian GP, and eleventh race of this fiery season, arrives surrounded by the controversy over the clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at Silverstone.
Since the accident in England, Mercedes and Red Bull have not ceased to add fuel to the fire. With tempers already incensed, the two-week hiatus has only served to further inflame an already explosive situation. Immersed in their hostilities, the two rivals will race for the leadership of both standings in Budapest.
Red Bull: Revenge
After finishing a five consecutive win streak (Monaco, Azerbaijan, France, Styria & Austria), Red Bull lost much of its advantage after the British incident and, although they wouldn’t admit to it, revenge is on their minds. At the Driver’s Standings, Verstappen’s 33-point lead over his rival shrank to just eight points after the clash with Hamilton in the UK. The Dutch driver now has 185 points against the 177 of the Briton.
This time around Verstappen had better use the help of his teammate Checo Perez. The Mexican from Red Bull has had some disappointing performances over the last three appointments and should really get back on the path of success if he wants to seal his renewal for 2022. The difference in the Constructors’ standings is even tighter. Red Bull currently leads Mercedes by just four points, 289 to 285.
Mercedes, to dethrone Red Bull from the lead
Considering the slim distances that separate the two dominating teams, the Germans are sure to get their heavy weaponry out to try and dethrone Red Bull from the lead of both the individual and team classifications and start the holiday break at the head of the championship.
The team of the star feels practically at home in Hungary. Lewis Hamilton has taken a total of eight wins at the Hungaroring, the same as in Silverstone. Quite a record! The high-speed corners of the 4,381-meter circuit, however, could play in favour of his Austrian enemies.
Midfield: McLaren vs Ferrari… again
In the midfield, McLaren, supported by a sensational Lando Norris –Daniel Ricciardo is improving- , and Ferrari, aided by the solidity of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, will continue fighting their intense battle. They are currently separated by 15 points.
The Spaniard is trying really hard to offer his first shining performance dressed in red. The Hungarian track, to which their SF21 is very well suited, should be an ally for the Maranello team, and one of its best opportunities to excel this season.
Meanwhile, the other Spanish pilot on the grid, Alpine´s Fernando Alonso, who celebrated his 40th birthday on Wednesday, will try and finish in the points once again, as he has over the last five races.
Hungaroring, iconic circuit
Whatever happens, the narrow and challenging track is sure to facilitate intense duels along the upper, middle and lower areas of the grid. The heat and rapid tire degradation will once again be the protagonists of the day at the so-called ‘Monaco without barriers‘ but each pilot’s individual skills is what usually prevails above the circumstances at the old-school circuit.
Teams are eager to go on holidays with their homework done and so the 70 laps and 306.63 meters of the 37th edition of the Hungarian GP are a promise of endless duels and excitement. The Hungaroring is one of Formula One’s most iconic racetracks, having remained unchanged since its F1 debut in 1986.
Images of 2021 F1 Hungarian GP: Red Bull Racing.