Alex Yoong’s Hungarian Grand Prix preview

Follow Alex Yoong on Twitter: @alexyoong

It’s tight and twisty, and it’s the Hungarian GP this weekend. Known as the second slowest track after Monaco on the calendar, one where teams who may not have the fastest power unit can make all the difference and steal a good result. McLaren, I’m talking about you by the way.

All the talk from the last race has been about the championship fight and it certainly has merit. With the halfway point of the championship being reached, it’s now the time for teams and drivers to have a first glance at the tables to see where they are and who’s around them.

Nico Rosberg only leads his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, by a single point – and it will be interesting to see how both of them respond to the pressure. In the past, Rosberg has been found wanting in this regard, but something tells me that he is a different proposition this year. There is definitely more steel about him now and I think he will be able to cope.

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As for Hamilton, while he says there is no pressure, there actually is. He will definitely need to take one, possibly two engine penalties – as he is on the last of his allocated engines for the year. That means he cannot afford to give points needlessly to his team-mate, and the pressure will be there to convert his chances. He did that perfectly at the last two races, so if he can keep it up, then Rosberg really has a fight on his hands.

While everyone will be watching this juicy championship battle, let’s not forget that this is a track that Mercedes will not dominate on. Red Bull Racing must start as joint favorites due to their pace at Monaco, where they had the quickest car. Both of their drivers are driving well, and this could be worrisome for Mercedes.

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Two things may make it a bit tricky for Red Bull – for one, the track has been resurfaced, so they will need to be on top of things on Friday to make sure they have the right setup. Secondly, Mercedes have been out-developing everyone in the pit lane this year, which could mean that Red Bull’s advantage that they enjoyed in Monaco, may not be there anymore.

As for Ferrari, while they may have won in Hungary last year, they are still struggling for pace this season. However, if they can unlock why they have been missing this bit of pace, then they should be right up there. With no fast corners here, the team could really benefit.

Let’s also not forget that this track is the only circuit in which Mercedes has not won since the turbo-hybrid era came into effect over the last two and a half years. That’s something they will be desperate to put right, so it should be a hard fought race to win.

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