Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Hungarian GP: 3 early thoughts on race weekend

As the F1 show moves on to Budapest for the Hungarian GP thinks are already getting interesting. With a major row erupting over car design, another team showing imperious domination, and the BLM movement still causing stirs through the paddock we take a look at what lies ahead this weekend.

It was an eventful first stop on the F1 2020 calendar in Austria as we had two GP’s dominated by Mercedes with Red Bull offering limited resistance, and the Ferrari’s in equal parts slow and incompetent. So what does F1 have in store this weekend?

Hungarian GP set to be dominated by Mercedes

Living in a COVID-19 world has led to multiple races in a few stops on the calendar, and the potential problems with that were demonstrated starkly in Austria as Mercedes ran away with both GP, despite a number of incidents and safety cars.

Lewis Hamilton fastest in Hungarian GP FP1
Lewis Hamilton fastest in Hungarian GP FP1

Whilst this can’t really be helped as F1 tries to shoe-horn in as many races as they can to appease sponsors and fans alike, it could lead to a somewhat predictable output on consecutive weekends which may not make ideal viewing for the non-F1 aficionado.

That said, the Hungarian GP is a one-off race that…erm, Mercedes look set to dominate. While there is little that can be done to stop one team from having the better car, it is unfortunate just how much faster the new Black Mercedes seems to be than it’s rivals in 2020.

With the two Mercedes drivers nearly a half-second ahead, this could be a long weekend for non-Mercedes fans. Also interesting to note was that only three, yes THREE, drivers were within one second of six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton’s time. FP1 isn’t always the best predictor of race results, nut this looks ominous.

DriverTeamTime
1. Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:16.003
2. Valtteri BottasMercedes0.086
3 Sergio PerezRacing Point0.527
4. Lance StrollRacing Point0.964
5. Daniel RicciardoRenault1.197
6. Sebastian VettelFerrari1.235
7. Charles LeclercFerrari1.401
8. Max VerstappenRed Bull1.432
9. Lando NorrisMcLaren1.52
10. Esteban OconRenault1.612
Hungarian GP FP1 top 10

Racing Point don’t care about Renault’s complaint

Catch us if you can, Racing Points "Pink Mercedes" story is unlikely to go away during the Hungarian GP weekend
Catch us if you can, Racing Points “Pink Mercedes” story is unlikely to go away during the Hungarian GP weekend

As the second-fastest team in FP1, Racing Point has done little to dull the ire of Renault who put in an official complaint about the Pink Arrows, I mean Pink Panthers, after the Styrian GP (Austria v.2.0). In an official response to Renault’s complaint, the team said “BWT Racing Point F1 Team is extremely disappointed to see its results in the Styrian Grand Prix questioned by what it considers to be a misconceived and poorly informed protest.

“Any and all suggestion of wrongdoings is firmly rejected. The team will take all steps necessary to ensure the correct application of the regulation to the facts. Prior to the start of the season, the team cooperated with the FIA and satisfactorily addressed all questions regarding the origins of the designs of the RP20. The team is confident that the protest will be dismissed once it has presented its response.”

Ferrari are still of the pace, and still not a team

In a storyline that hasn’t gone away since October Ferrari are still a mess. After Charles Leclerc successfully mounted his team mate at the Styrian GP, forcing both driver’s to retire from the race Ferrari have entered full meltdown mode.

If it wasn’t for the horrendous team chemistry though, everyone would be talking about how slow the prancing horses are, so maybe that’s a good thing for Ferrari team principle Mattia Binotto? Or maybe not as PlanetF1 reported yesterday that Ferrari already have his replacement lined up.

With Sebastien Vettel of to new pastures next season, Ferrari could really do with some good news at the Hungarian GP. But with the two cars 1.2 and 1.4 seconds behind Mercedes respectively that may be in short supply.

Maybe you guys should just get a room?
Maybe you guys should just get a room?

For more on the Hungarian GP and all things F1, visit our dedicated F1 page here. Meanwhile, follow us on Facebook for more opinions and analysis right to your timeline.

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