F1 Power Rankings: Hungarian Grand Prix

It’s time for Magyar Nagydij! While I’ve never been a fan of the Hungaroring, the combination of low grip and low-speed that requires high downforce takes the perpetual Mercedes advantage away so that the field can have a legitimate chance at victory without a fluke happening. The last time Mercedes won in Hungary was before the Turbo V6 engine formula was introduced. Could they pull of the victory this time? The F1 Power Rankings attempts to answer that question.

f1-lewis-hamilton-helmet-2016#1 Lewis Hamilton
Maybe there’s something to people saying that Old Louise Hamilton plays mind games. He’s trolling Nico through the PR team this week: “Ever since the low of Barcelona I’ve been able to cultivate this really strong mental attitude and I’m really feeling that fire inside me right now. Of course, I have good days and bad days like everyone else. But whatever the case, I’m able to turn negatives into positives when it counts.”

#2 Max Verstappen

f1-nico-rosberg-helmet-2016#3 Nico Rosberg
You can tell that Nico’s just about ready to give up on this season. He should have taken the rumoured Ferrari offer after Barcelona: “I am leading the World Championship coming up to the halfway point of the season and there’s still a long way to go. The battle is on with Lewis and I’m feeling great in myself and great in the car, so bring it on! I can’t wait for the next battle between us in Budapest… I’m looking forward to an exciting and hopefully successful weekend!”

f1-sebastian-vettel-helmet-2016#4 Sebastian Vettel
Apparently there are all sorts of great fans travelling from all over who are presumably taking advantage of a cheaper Grand Prix: “I think it’s a great place to be with a lot of fans, a lot of German speaking fans as well as fans travelling from Austria and Germany, and all the Hungarians who are usually very enthusiastic and love Formula 1 being in town.”

#5 Daniel Ricciardo

#6 Kimi Raikkonen

f1-sergio-perez-helmet-2016#7 Sergio Perez
Checo knows that his race will be run on Saturday. He better hope that he’s the only one who can hold onto the tyres: ” It’s a track with few overtaking opportunities so qualifying is important. It’s probably the second most important race for track position after Monaco. I think it will be a challenging weekend, but we know we can be competitive on every track.”

f1-nico-hulkenberg-helmet-2016#8 Nico Hulkenberg
The Secret Lives of F1 Teams with The Hulk: “For the last few years, Hungary used to be the last round before the summer break and there was always a big party on the Sunday night, after the race – an end of term celebration. This time we still have a race after Budapest, but I still think there will be a party in town.”

#9 Carlos Sainz

f1-valtteri-bottas-helmet-2016#10 Valtteri Bottas
Your annual reminder that this is the race that Finns travel to: “The Hungaroring is probably the most intense track compared to the other events it falls around during in the season… It’s nicknamed the Finnish Grand Prix because there can be tens of thousands of Finns at the race. I always really appreciate seeing the Finnish flag and feeling that support.”

f1-felipe-massa-helmet-2016#11 Felipe Massa
Despite a near-death experience, Old Phil gets a lot of love from Hungary so he quite likes it: “Hungary is a track where I personally have a lot of history with the accident I had. As a consequence, I have the most amazing fans there who support me a lot. They follow me everywhere I go and always have gifts for me. It’s an amazing place to go back to and spend time with them.”

f1-fernando-alonso-helmet-2016#12 Fernando Alonso
Nando’s thinking of this like a karting track. Well, he owns one so that’s a good frame of mind: “Since you need good balance and downforce, the best way to get a good lap time is to really attack the corners – a bit like in karting – so from that point of view it’s a really fun circuit to drive. Although it’s not a traditional ‘power’ circuit like many others, it doesn’t feel like a slow circuit either; I hope we can find a good set-up early on in the weekend so we can really make the most of our car and hopefully have some fun.”

f1-romain-grosjean-helmet-2016#13 Romain Grosjean
Apparently, the Haas team is struggling to maximize their tyres. I kind of wonder how much help they really are getting from Ferrari: “It’s going to be our number one priority to get the tire to work for us and analyze the degradation, which can be high on some compounds. If we get the grip, we’ll get the lap time. Then we can do more pit stops and have more fun.”

f1-jenson-button-helmet-2016#14 Jenson Button
Jenson is optimistic about this weekend because they don’t have to rely on their Honda power unit. That’s not a good sign: “The focus is much more on aero, so we’ll run pretty high downforce and try to make the most of our car’s good traction under braking. Hopefully it’ll mean we can keep up with the chasing pack and maybe even make up a bit of ground, too. Although we struggled with our pace in Silverstone, the Hungaroring is a different kettle of fish, so I’m keen to see how we perform there.”

#15 Daniil Kvyat

f1-esteban-gutierrez-helmet-2016#16 Esteban Gutierrez
Steve says that the part people don’t talk about is that the Hungaroring is a pretty big physical challenge for the drivers: “It’s quite physically demanding because of the fact you have not many chances to have a pause from the driving. You have to be focused all the time because all the corners make it very demanding – mentally and physically.”

f1-kevin-magnussen-helmet-2016#17 Kevin Magnussen
Poor KMag might be getting pushed out of F1 again without a fair shake but he sure does seem to love his job: “The Hungaroring is a cool track, I find myself saying that for every circuit we visit but I’m a racing driver and all tracks are cool in a Formula 1 car! It’s another race to look forward to and hopefully another race where we can push as hard as possible and hope for points.”

f1-jolyon-palmer-helmet-2016#18 Jolyon Palmer
How did it take us this long to find out that the Hungaroring was resurfaced since the last race? Might take some of the fun out of this weekend: “The circuit has been resurfaced so that’s an unknown – it might help us, it might not; we won’t know until we get there! New track surfaces are always a little bit of a venture into the unknown as you don’t know how much grip there will be, how the surface will evolve over the weekend and how the tyres will perform with the surface.”

#19 Pascal Wehrlein

f1-felipe-nasr-helmet-2016#20 Felipe Nasr
I’m not sure if it’s to save money but Sauber compressed their race previews for Hungary and Germany into one press release: “The month of July is packed with race weekends – after the Austrian and British Grands Prix we head to the last two race weekends before the summer break: The Hungarian and German Grands Prix. Last year at the Hungaroring we were stronger than expected in the race – with P11 I was close to the points. Now I am looking forward to get a first taste of the Sauber C35-Ferrari with the new rear wing.”

f1-marcus-ericsson-helmet-2016#21 Marcus Ericsson
GOOD NEWS! Sauber finally has new parts: “Looking back to last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix, my memories are not too bad. I was able to score one point by finishing the race in the top ten. We had a decent pace in the race, and I hope we can achieve a similar result this season. It is good that we continue our tests with the new rear in order to proceed with our aero evaluation. It will be important to compare the data we collected from Silverstone to that we will gather in Budapest.”

#22 Rio Haryanto

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