Lewis Hamilton will compete in Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix with record-breaking prospects in sight, aiming not only to become the first driver to win the race five times but also to become the first to win it three years running.
The Mercedes representative failed to hound down teammate Nico Rosberg at last Sunday's German Grand Prix, but after starting 20th on the grid in Hockenheim, his third-place finish was nevertheless magnificent.
Standing in Hamilton's path, however, is a thriving field of Formula 1 talent, each with their own ideas for victory in mind, and to make sure not a minute is missed, read on for all the meeting's viewing information.
|Schedule||Date and Time||TV|
|Practice 3||Saturday, July 26, 10 a.m. (BST) / 5 a.m. (ET)||Sky Sports F1 / NBCSN|
|Qualifying||Saturday, July 26, 1 p.m. (BST) / 8 a.m. (ET)||Sky Sports F1 / NBCSN|
|Race||Sunday , July 27, 1 p.m. (BST) / 8 a.m. (ET)||Sky Sports F1 / NBCSN|
Sky Sports and NBC
|Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari|
|Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||Romain Grosjean||Lotus|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso|
|Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso|
|Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||Jules Bianchi||Marussia|
|Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||Adrian Sutil||Sauber|
|Valtteri Bottas||Williams||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham|
|Jenson Button||McLaren||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus|
|Felipe Massa||Williams||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber|
|Kevin Magnussen||McLaren||Max Chilton||Marussia|
|Sergio Perez||Force India||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham|
Ones to Watch
It's been a tough 2014 season for Ferrari thus far, with the team currently lying 250 points off leaders Mercedes in the constructors' standings and Kimi Raikkonen yet to claim a podium finish.
However, the Finn won at the 2005 Hungarian Grand Prix, and as ESPN F1 indicates, he has enjoyed some success in Budapest over recent years:
Fun fact for Kimi fans: On all four occasions Lewis Hamilton has won this race, Kimi Raikkonen has finished second.— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) July 25, 2014
Raikkonen has finished in the top nine on just three occasions this year, but Laurence Edmondson of ESPN F1 quotes the driver expressing hope that Hungary can provide a turning point in his campaign:
I'm sure we can turn it around and sometimes there is a good feeling but it doesn't last long. Last weekend was a better feeling again and we changed something and got something new in the car so hopefully that will start putting us in the right direction and we will get to where we should be.
It's a different circuit more close to Monaco than the other place. We were having quite a good race there but obviously we have to see if we get that good feeling and get the car where we want and have that good feeling without any issues in practice to try things however we want. We will have to see tomorrow, but usually it is a good race and even this twisty track where people say you can't overtake, we have seen in the past that it can change a lot in the race after qualifying. We'll see how it goes.
Any hopes Raikkonen might have had in contesting for silverware this season are as good as over, but with Fernando Alonso currently keeping Ferrari spirits alive almost single-handedly, any boost in form is a plus.
And what better track for those hopes to take shape than in Hungary, which has been so good to Raikkonen in the past?
Admittedly, Valtteri Bottas benefited from the opening provided by Hamilton's drop down the grid places in Germany last week, but his work was far from done en route to second place at the Hockenheimring.
Producing what many would agree was his standout performance of the season so far, Bottas' defence of his position drew plaudits from NBC's Formula 1 coverage team:
Bottas somehow keeps Hamilton at bay to finish second for Williams - what a drive! #F1onNBC— F1® Racing on NBC (@F1onNBCSports) July 20, 2014
It's therefore foreseeable that Raikkonen won't be the only Finn hoping to have an impact in the Hungarian capital, with Bottas boasting back-to-back runners-up finishes coming into Sunday's race.
Should he succeed this weekend, Bottas could earn a fifth Hungarian Grand Prix triumph on behalf of Finland, thus making his country the competition's third-most successful representatives behind Great Britain and Brazil.
Four wins in seven years at this track is an impressive statistic for Hamilton, but to make it five victories in eight would be all the sweeter, especially considering that could also put him first in the drivers' standings.
That would, of course, depend on the form of leader Rosberg, however, boasting a 14-point lead as things stand. Hamilton remains focused on the task at hand, though, calling this race "special," per Ian Parkes of the Independent:
This race is always a special one for me, with four poles and four wins from my seven races there so far, including my first victory for Mercedes last season. I don't really have any secrets there. I've just been very fortunate over the years, and it's a circuit I really enjoy.
It's one where you can really attack, which works for an attacking driver like myself, so perhaps it suits my driving style a little bit more than some others. I'm looking forward to it, and I'm doing absolutely everything I can to get back on level terms with Nico in the title battle. I can't focus more or work harder than I am doing right now.
Despite being second in the standings right now, Hamilton has claimed the most wins of any driver this season with five, although Rosberg can tie for that number should he emerge as the winner in Budapest.
A turn-heavy Hungaroring promises to sort the men from the boys as we enter the latter half of the campaign, and Hamilton has as much reason as any other to be upbeat about his chances.