The Hungary Grand Prix is the last chance for teams to impress before the summer shutdown. The young and the experienced have tested any upgrades and revised tyres, ready to push the cars to the limits to add precious points to their tallies at the high-downforce circuit of the Hungaroring.
It may be the last race of the season for Felipe Massa at Ferrari after crashing or spinning several times over the last four races. Fernando Alonso needs the F138 to close the gap on the Red Bull, at the circuit he won in 2003 to make him the youngest grand prix winner, if his title chances are to remain intact.
Another driver hoping his recent spin won’t cost him a seat is Daniel Ricciardo. The Toro Rosso drivers need to pick up more points if they are to contend for the vacant Red Bull seat and the high-downforce may provide a similar opportunity for a top ten as Monaco.
A Hungary victory is one of only two that eludes Sebastian Vettel and in the car arguably the most suited to the track, the championship leader is in a good position to cross it off the list. Team mate Mark Webber is still driving for pride and has no intention of backing down despite his retirement announcement.
The Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen is on a mission to not finish second once again at what has become his home race and will be Vettel’s main contender on Sunday. Romain Grosjean missed out on the chance to test the revised tyres and may be a victim of a lack of experience.
Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton may also fall victim to a lack of experience after missing out on the mid-season test. Hamilton won here last year from pole and a front row lockout in qualifying will be the key to victory for the German outfit due to the limited overtaking opportunities.
McLaren, Sauber and Williams will be looking for a confidence boost in the form of points paying positions before the summer break while Force India will hope to turn around their misfortunes in qualifying. Both Caterham and Marussia will be looking to avoid finishing at the back of the grid.
It is set to be one of the hottest European races with temperatures expected to tipple over 40˚C. The tyres are a mixture of 2012 construction and 2013 compounds so should be the most stable of the season.
Best of luck for all your SuperBru picks!
By Declan Shepherd