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Preview GP Hungary 2013: The most important race of the year

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Preview GP Hungary 2013
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W will the 2013 season in Hungary be exciting again or will it go Vettel Festival until the end of the year? The neutral fans in particular hope that the competition will finally find an answer after three years of Red Bull domination. Budapest is, at least in terms of the balance of power this season, the last straw that the Vettel opponents can still cling to.

Three weeks after the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, many teams are new again Screw parts to the cars. Some updates could already be observed at the Young Driver Tests in Silverstone. Major shifts in the team ranking could also result from the new Pirelli tires. Starting in Budapest, the carcass from 2012 will be used again, which will reduce the rubber temperatures by around 10 ° C.

In future, the tires will not heat up as much, but the asphalt will glow. The latest weather forecasts suggest an extreme heat race: 37 ° C in the shade, no cloud in the sky, the probability of rain is zero - the Hungaroring is transformed into an oven. With the rubber compounds 'soft' and 'medium' Pirelli brings relatively soft rubbers. They could once again become the decisive factor.

The track - Hungaroring Budapest

The Hungaroring, almost 20 kilometers outside Budapest, has been a regular stage for Formula 1 since 1986. The route, with its 14 mostly slow and medium-speed corners, is completed clockwise and is one of the slower courses on the calendar in terms of average speeds. Ten bends are driven through at less than 155 km /h.

Overtaking is extremely difficult on the round course. In 2012 there were only 6 changes of place on the route - 4 of them at the end of the start-finish straight with DRS help. The long last curve makes it difficult to follow the vehicle in front directly in the slipstream. This year, a second DRS zone will therefore be set up directly after curve 1. It is questionable whether that will provide more action. Qualifying and a good start are therefore particularly important. At 610 meters, the way from pole position to the first corner is one of the longest in the whole year.

Fast Facts:

Track length: 4.381 kilometers
Average speed: 182 km /h
Top speed: 303 km /h
Highest lateral acceleration: 3.1g (for2.6 seconds in turn 11)
Longest full throttle passage: 660 meters (start-finish)
Proportion of braking phases in the lap time: 1 percent
Proportion of straights on a lap: 36 percent
Number of Gear changes per lap: 59
Full throttle on one lap: 47 percent
Lowest speed: 80 km /h
Highest cornering speed: 220 km /h
Distance from pole position to the first corner: 610
Fuel consumption: 1.9 liters /lap (62 liters /100km)
Loss of time per 10 kilos of additional weight: 0.38 seconds

The setup:

The small amount of long straights and the many slow corners also affect the setup. The engineers' watchword is full downforce. Both the rear and the front wing are set extremely steeply so that the car sticks firmly to the asphalt. Since the Hungaroring is very round and slow in character, there are actually no special requirements for the brakes and tires.

Only the high temperatures could cause the engineers a headache. The mercury is said to rise near the 40 ° C mark on race Sunday. The motors must be cooled accordingly. In the lower speed range in particular, a lot of power is required to get out of the slow corners. The chassis also has to be tuned a little softer to improve traction, alleviate the understeer character of the track and smooth out the curbs.

Updates:

Hungary should become one of the last big update festivals of the year. Many teams have already announced that they will move their development resources to 2014 with the start of the summer break. Due to the greatly changed technology regulations and the new engines, a parallel development cannot be achieved for most racing teams. At the Young Driver Test we recently saw some new parts that will probably also be used in Hungary.

At McLaren, for example, you could see new wind deflectors on the side pods. The nose has also been heavily modified. Sauber tested a new exhaust pipe in which the exhaust gases are directed to the diffuser via a ramp, similar to those used by Red Bull and Lotus. A lot has also been experimented with with the passive DRS system.

The most important new feature are of course the tires. The mixtures from 2013 are put on the carcass from 2012 from Budapest. Not only do the flexing behavior and the heat development change, but also the aerodynamics. On the rear axle, the new rubbers have a completely different shape than the previous 2013 rollers. The teams have already been able to collect initial data during the Young Drivers Tests. As is well known, Mercedes was not allowed to participate and has to catch up quickly in Hungary's free practice.

Favorites for the Hungarian GP:

You don't have to be an expert to be the first to Red Bull againCandidates to win. If Sebastian Vettel hadn't been stopped by technology in England, he would have scored his third victory in a row at the Nürburgring. The question is whether the tires and the heat will change anything about the dominance.

Statistics fan Vettel would particularly like to win in Hungary. Besides Austin, the Hungaroring is the only track on the current calendar on which it has never been on the top of the podium. Mercedes was most likely to annoy the Heppenheimer at least in qualifying. But heat in the race is known to be poison for the Silver Arrow. In addition, drivers and engineers have to get used to the modified tires first.

Like at the Nürburgring, Lotus could again play the role of the first Vettel hunter. Last year Raikkonen and Grosjean made it onto the podium together in Budapest. For the black and gold car, the hotter the better. It is unclear whether Ferrari can fight for victory again before the summer break. The Italians recently set back problems with technology updates. With soft tires and heat in the race, however, something could possibly work.

The cards in midfield also seem to be reshuffled with the new rubbers. Already at the Nürburgring it became clear that Force India is struggling more with the changes than the competition. McLaren presented itself a little better three weeks ago and clearly as the fifth force. It will be exciting to see whether Sauber can turn the corner again. The financially troubled team is putting all its hopes in the new exhaust.

Expert opinion: Xevi Pujolar (chief engineer Williams)

'The Hungaroring is one of the most demanding routes on the calendar. The expected high air temperatures make it a particularly strenuous challenge for the drivers. The layout of the route is technically very difficult. One curve flows directly into the next. There are hardly any longer straights where you can relax. '

' The curvy layout leads to medium to slow average speeds, so we will drive with maximum downforce. You would think that the tires do not because of the low cornering speeds suffer so badly, but the high number of turns puts the rubbers under constant high stress. '

This is how the race went last year (GP Hungary 2012):

Hamilton versus Lotus - that was the duel for victory at the Hungaroring 2012. The three-way battle was already decided in qualifying. From pole position, Hamilton defended the lead at the start. Although the Lotus was the faster car in the race, the McLaren was able to control the lead for 69 laps and offer no attack surface to its opponents. Thanks to good tactics, Kimi Raikkonen made it from starting position 6 to position 2. In the team-internal duel against Grosjean, the Iceman sat down with an uncompromisingManeuver in Turn 1.

Sebastian Vettel ended up 10 seconds behind in 4th place. A bad start and a long duel with Jenson Button cost a lot of time. However, Michael Schumacher made the headlines of the weekend: The record champion drove into the wrong box at the start. When the start was aborted, he accidentally switched off the engine. The Silver Arrow was pushed into the pit lane, which led to a flat tire. There was also a penalty for driving too fast in the pit lane. In the end, Schumi gave up in frustration.

We have the pictures of the exciting Budapest Race 2012 in the photo gallery again.

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