The Formula 1 summer break is nearly upon us with this weekend’s action in Hungary bringing the curtain down on the first half of the season.
The Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships swung back in the favour of Mercedes last time out but Ferrari will fancy their chances of regaining the advantage in Budapest, as long as Sebastian Vettel can stay on the track!
Vettel was 13 laps from a victory on home soil last Sunday before his costly mistake handed Lewis Hamilton victory. The German driver will hope he can right the wrongs of Hockenheim on a track which has brought him plenty of success lately.
The four-time world champion has won two of the last three races at the Hungaroring, leading from start to finish last year as he lead home a Ferrari one-two.
The tight and twisty circuit plays to the strengths of Ferrari and Red Bull, with title rivals Mercedes admitting the track doesn’t suit their car.
Despite the Silver Arrows’ troubles in Hungary, championship leader Hamilton has still taken the chequered flag five times previously and is 11/4 to make it back-to-back victories after his remarkable success in Germany.
Given how strong Ferrari are expected to be this weekend, a podium finish for Kimi Raikkonen represents good value.
The Finn has made the top three in his last four races and was left frustrated when coming home in second in last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix having felt he was faster than Vettel, only to be told to hold position.
Having been given similar instructions to let his team-mate past in Germany, it is unlikely the Finn will end his five-year wait for a win on Sunday but will at least be towards the front of the pack.
The make-up of the relatively short Hungaroring means drivers often never lose sight of the car in front of them. With a tendency for safety cars and rain forecast for race day, it is likely the grid will be bunched up.
The last two races have seen the winner cross the line less than two seconds ahead of the car in second and another tight finish looks likely.
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