The Hungaroring is one of the lowest speed circuits on the Formula 1 calendar. While the start / finish line is 800m long, the second sector includes a succession of eight corners across the speed range that challenge both the car and driver. Maintaining rhythm is key to a strong lap here.
Overtaking at the Hungaroring is a tricky proposition – but moves can be made at a couple of corners if a driver is willing to wait until the last moment to hit the brakes. Keep an eye on Turn 1 for the best of the action, with drivers able to use the DRS effect to close up on their rivals before making a move.
Dealing with soaring temperatures is one of the key challenges in Budapest. Not only do the drivers have to nurse the tyres on what is a very intensive circuit for the tyres but the track’s intense physicality in such heat tests their fitness levels to the limit.
Tyre wear and overtaking challenges combine to make strategy crucial in Budapest. The track layout leads the teams to look for strategies which reduce the chance of being caught behind slower cars.
Formula 1 heads to only its second venue of the 2020 campaign in Hungary, having opened with a double-header in Austria. This is more than just a change of scenery, with the tight and twisty layout of the Hungaroring being a contrast to the high-speed nature of the Red Bull Ring.
Lance Stroll Q&A
Q: How would you sum up the Hungaroring in a sentence? LS: “I would say it’s like a mini-Monaco – but without the barriers.”
Q: How much do you enjoy visiting Budapest? LS: “It’s a great city – one of my favourites, actually. It’s a beautiful place. There’s no ‘end of term’ summer break feeling this year – but we’ve got the buzz of finally getting back to racing instead, which is even better!”
Q: What are the biggest challenges at the Hungaroring? LS: “Budapest in the middle of summer is always a scorcher. There’s high track temperatures and big demands on the tyres – especially with so many low-speed traction zones. Inside the car you’re always busy. It’s not as intense as a street circuit, but it’s only really the pit straight where you get a moment to catch your breath. All the corners flow into the next one so it’s really hard to find your rhythm early in the weekend.”
Sergio Perez Q&A
Q: How much do you enjoy racing in Hungary? SP: “I like the layout of the lap – but I’ve never had much luck there. It’s tight, twisty and usually makes for an interesting race, with the first sector giving us some overtaking opportunities. To throw it up the inside into Turn 1, you need to be really confident on the brakes. With a big run-off area, drivers are willing to take more risks there.”
Q: What’s the key to a great lap at the Hungaroring? SP: “We call it a technical track because it’s not easy to hook up a clean lap. It’s always dirty off-line and any mistakes in the low and medium-speed corners are costly. Keeping your momentum is everything – more than at most other tracks.”
Q: What’s your top racing memory from Hungary? SP: “I would say it was in 2013, racing with McLaren. It was a difficult car and not really a Q3 contender in Hungary – but I was able to put together a really strong lap to make it into Q3, qualifying ninth. And I then scored points in the race to complete a good weekend.”