Photo: Joe Klamar Associated Press
The winner of the first Grand Prix of the year 2020 and second to the next, Valtteri Bottas occupies the first place in the championship.
The Red Bull Ring at the Hungaroring : after the first two races in two weeks on the plot, austrian, F1 moves this weekend in Hungary, on a circuit on which Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes were in the habit to shine.
After a back to the inside, there are fifteen days in Austria, sanctioned by two penalties and a fourth place, the British gave the clock to the hour the following week, offering comfort with pole position and victory on a path that does not count among his favorites.
On the Hungaroring in Budapest, it is a different story : since its inception in 2007 (thirteen seasons), the sixfold world champion has won seven times — a record — and has signed six poles.
Only Michael Schumacher has done better with the seven positions of the tip, but this is another record from the German legend that the pilot Mercedes aims this year : one of seven world titles.
The winner of the first Grand Prix of the year 2020 and second to the next, his team-mate finn Valtteri Bottas occupies the first place in the championship, six points ahead, but the paddock is expected almost unanimously see this situation quickly reversed after the third round of the season, always run closed because of the pandemic of novel coronavirus.
“Exit the game “
To stand on the road in the Uk, we are waiting for Max Verstappen, but the Dutchman has felt the outcome of the two races, the austrian that his Red Bull was “just not fast enough” to beat the Mercedes.
On a separate line, the end can it be also ? “I could tell you a nice story, you say that it is a circuit that values less engine power, I signed the pole (his first in F1, note), and finished second last year, but I’m not like that “, swept Verstappen at a press conference Thursday. “It is too early to tell. “
Bottas believes that the pace of the silver Arrows is ” encouraging “, when Hamilton expects to be “more tight, a beautiful battle” with Red Bull in the face that it will ” exit the game “.
Another strong image of the last GP of Styria, much less glorious, however, that the arch-dominance of Hamilton : hanging from the first lap between the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel. The Monegasque apologized and both say that the incident is “behind” them.
The Scuderia is not the output of the hostel : any particular qualifications, SF1000 is surpassed not only by Mercedes and Red Bull but also by Racing Point, McLaren and Renault.
“We know that the performance level of our car is not up to our expectations or those of our fans, admits the team principal Mattia Binotto. But we are working very hard at all levels to progress as quickly as possible. “
It is essential for the second place Leclerc at an inaugural GP enamel drop does not remain outstanding.
“Triple header “
Fatigue, finally, can it make the difference this weekend ? Not so much the drivers but their teams, on the bridge for almost three weeks…
The first “triple header” (three races in as many weeks) of F1 history in the summer of 2018 had left the personal stables bloodless, but it was another time.
The season had started for several months already and he had to swallow a lot of kilometres between France, Austria and Great Britain. This time, the championship began with more than three months late because of the Covid-19 and only 400 kilometres from the Red Bull Ring Hungaroring.
And Hamilton conclude : “after our wait to start the season, everyone is still very enthusiastic. Ca is not a problem for the moment but it could become so in the next two “triple headers” schedule ” in August and September.