Hungarian Grand Prix 2014 Preview: Start Time, TV Info, Weather, Schedule, Odds
The Hungarian Grand Prix will be the 11th round of the 2014 Formula One season.
The venue, as it always has been, will be the Hungaroring. Situated in a shallow valley close to the capital Budapest, the circuit has hosted a Hungarian Grand Prix every year since 1986.
Nico Rosberg won in Germany to take a 14-point lead in the drivers' championship, but he'll need to look over his shoulder this weekend. Team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton has won four of the seven F1 races he's entered at this track and has to be considered the favourite this weekend.
Jenson Button is also something of a Hungary specialist with two wins, while Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen have one apiece.
Sebastian Vettel has none—the Hungarian is the only established grand prix on the 2014 calendar the four-time champion has never won.
This race will be part two of the second set of back-to-back races (races on consecutive weekends) of 2014. It's always a treat for fans when the calendar falls this way.
Sadly, it will also be last race before the traditional summer break. When the chequered flag falls on Sunday, we'll have to wait four weeks to see the cars in action again.
Maybe some day they'll make patches for F1 withdrawal.
But for now, we've got a race to look forward to—and for those attending, a chance to visit one of the world's most beautiful cities.
Read on for a full preview of the race weekend, including current standings, a circuit map and guide, tyre and DRS information, odds, session times, weather forecast and TV times.
Nico Rosberg won in Germany to extend his lead over Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' championship to 14 points.
The current Top 10 are (information from Formula1.com):
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||106|
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||82|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||69|
In the constructors' championship, Mercedes have almost double the points of second-placed Red Bull.
Williams are now third. If they can stay there, it'll be their best finishing position since 2003. The current standings are:
The Hungaroring is one of the slowest circuits on the current calendar, second only to Monaco. Short and with little in the way of straights, most of the layout is taken up by corners.
Overtaking tends to be somewhere between difficult and impossible; this often forces drivers into unorthodox passes outside the DRS zones.
Sadly he ran off the track by a few centimetres and got a penalty, but it was still one of the overtakes of 2013.
So while passing is rare, it's usually worth the wait when it comes.
Turns 1, 2 and 3
Though the start-finish straight is short, the grid is very close to the beginning so the run to the first corner is of a respectable length.
Turn 1 is a tight, slightly rounded right-hand hairpin. The approach and braking zone—the heaviest of the lap—are downhill, meaning the drivers have to brake a little bit earlier than they ordinarily would.
This is the prime overtaking spot on the circuit.
At the exit the corner opens out a little onto a short straight. The circuit flicks right through a flat-out right kink (not numbered) before the drivers brake late for Turn 2.
It's one of the Hungaroring's most beautiful corners, a long medium-speed left which drops quite sharply at the entry and continues to sweep downhill after the exit.
Still heading downhill, Turn 3 is a quick right-hand kink which leads onto the circuit's second-longest straight.
Turns 4, 5, 6 and 7
The circuit begins to head uphill halfway down the straight, and at the end is Turn 4, a blind left-hand kink taken at around 200 kilometres an hour. This rivals Turn 2 as the best corner on the circuit, and may be the Hungarian Grand Prix's "don't exceed track limits" spot.
Almost straight away it's braking for Turn 5, a long right-hander taken at slow- to medium-speed.
A short burst of acceleration follows before the slow, right-left chicane made up of Turns 6 and 7. The first part is slightly slower, then the drivers pick up the throttle and take plenty of kerb through the second part and onto a tiny straight.
Turns 8, 9, 10 and 11
Turn 8 is a medium-speed left, and after a quick flooring of the throttle, Turn 9 is a slightly slower but still medium-speed right.
The drivers come out of the exit and immediately switch to the other side of the track for Turn 10, a flat-out left-hander, before some light braking for Turn 11, another medium-speed right.
This one fires the cars out onto a short straight which begins to head downhill.
Finding a good rhythm through this section is crucial to a good lap time—a mistake in one corner has a knock-on effect through the rest.
Turns 12, 13 and 14
At the end of the straight, the cars brake from a modest 270 kilometres an hour down to a little over 100 for the slow right-hand Turn 12. In theory overtaking can be done here, but only if the defending car gets a terrible exit from Turn 11.
Plenty of kerb is used on the exit as we head for the penultimate corner, Turn 13, a long, slow left-hand hairpin.
A brief throttle-squirt sends the cars onwards to the final corner, Turn 14. The drivers pick the throttle up early and feather it all the way around, waiting patiently before flooring it out of the exit and onto the pit straight.
The pit lane entry is on the inside between Turns 13 and 14, and the exit is on the pit straight before Turn 1.
Tyres and DRS
Though the Hungaroring has a lot of corners in a very short space of time, they're almost exclusively slow- and medium-speed. Lateral loads are moderate—they don't make the tyres cry in the way corners like Copse or Pouhon do.
So, as Pirelli says on its usual pre-race press release, it's not an especially tough place for tyres.
However, with few straights the tyres get little chance to cool, and track temperatures for the race are nearly always very high. This means heat can quickly build up and thermal degradation can be an issue.
Pirelli is bringing the yellow-marked soft and white-marked medium compound tyres. This is the same combination it used last year, and three stops was the winning strategy.
It expects two this time out, but we'll get a better idea after practice.
There will be two DRS zones for the Hungarian Grand Prix, running from a single detection point located at the entry to the final corner.
The first is located on the pit straight. The activation point is just after the exit of the the last corner, and the zone ends with braking for Turn 1.
The second zone is much shorter, with an activation point immediately after the exit of Turn 1. It ends with braking for Turn 2.
The Hungaroring has a humid continental climate. It has hot summers and cold winters, with rainfall occurring all year round. Temperatures for the race are frequently among the highest all year.
The current forecast is for hot weather on all three days. Friday is expected to be dry, but there's a risk of rain for Saturday and an even greater risk for the race on Sunday.
BBC Weather will have the latest as we get closer to the weekend.
Lewis Hamilton is favourite for the win, as he has been for every race of the season so far.
Nico Rosberg is second-favourite—again, a position he has occupied in the pre-qualifying betting all year round.
The 10 favourites are:
Passing is usually difficult at this circuit, and it's 3-4 the driver on pole also wins the race. It's 19-20 he doesn't.
Aside from the two Mercedes', Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas have the most podiums with four and three, respectively. It's 2-1 for Ricciardo to get another in Hungary, 9-4 for Bottas.
And Sauber are now on a record-breaking run of non-scoring finishes. It's 16-1 Adrian Sutil breaks their duck this weekend; Esteban Gutierrez is 20-1.
All odds taken from Oddschecker.com and correct at the time of publication.
TV Times and Session Times
As always, the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend will consist of three free practice sessions, qualifying and the race.
The session times (CEST) are as follows:
|Practice One||Friday||10 a.m.|
|Practice Two||Friday||2 p.m.|
|Practice Three||Saturday||11 a.m.|
Formula1.com has a handy one-click tool to convert them to your own timezone.
In the United Kingdom, live coverage of all sessions is being provided by Sky Sports F1. The times are (BST):
|Session||Day||Session Start||Coverage Start|
|Practice One||Friday||9 a.m.||8:45 a.m.|
|Practice Two||Friday||1 p.m.||12:45 p.m.|
|Practice Three||Saturday||10 a.m.||9:45 p.m.|
|Qualifying||Saturday||1 p.m.||12 p.m.|
|Race||Sunday||1 p.m.||11:30 a.m.|
The BBC will be showing qualifying (5:40 p.m. on BBC Two, Saturday) and race (5:10 p.m. on BBC One, Sunday) highlights.
In the United States, the NBC network is providing live coverage of qualifying (8 a.m. Saturday) and the race (from 7:30 a.m. Sunday), both on CNBC. Delayed coverage of second practice is scheduled on NBCSN for 11:30 a.m. on Friday.
Enjoy the weekend!
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