AHEAD OF 2013 HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX

Hungarian Grand Prix is 10 race of the 2013 season, the final race before the sport’s traditional summer break. Team are preparing to do battle around the tight and twisting Hungaroring. The race has been an ever-present on the calendar since 1986 and ranks third on the list of circuits to host the most consecutive F1 World Championship races, beaten only by Monaco(59) and Monza(32).

The Hungaroring was the scene of Fernando Alonso’s first grand prix win, in 2003. Jenson Button’s march to his first win from 14th on grid at the rain-hit 2006 race represents the biggest climb from starting position to top step of the podium. Damon Hill also scored his maiden win in Hungary, racing for Williams in 1993. He was the first son of a world champion to win a grand prix.

With 14 corners and just one real straight,the Hungaroring presents teams with a similarproblem to that encountered in Monaco, how to maximise high downforce performance. Optimum aerodynamic grip will be the provenance of the teams but mechanical grip will largely come from a new range of Pirelli tyres. The manufacturer has altered its tyres for the rest of the season and will this weekend debut new tyres based on 2012 constructions and 2013 compounds. Here, teams will have a choice of Soft and Medium compounds. Despite the Hungaroring being a tough track on which to overtake, pole position isn’t crucial. Since 2005, the man starting at the front has won just twice – Hamilton.

In the Drivers’ Championship, current leader Sebastian Vettel will have a chance to edge closer to a full set of current GP wins. A first home win at the Nürburgring three weeks ago leaves the German with just two winners’ trophies to claim (here and the US) but victory at the Hungaroring has proved elusive, with second in 2011 his best result. The form driver here is Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who with three wins (2007, ’09, ’12), is just one shy of matching Michael Schumacher’s Hungaroring win record. In the Constructors’ battle, Red Bull Racing lead Mercedes by a healthy 67-point margin, with Ferrari third, just three points further back.

Zsolt Baumgartner became the first Hungarian to race in Formula One when he took part in his home race for Jordan in the 2003. Baumgartner replaced Jordan regular Ralph Firman, who had crashed heavily in practice. Baumgartner qualified 19th and his race lasted 34 laps before an engine failure ended his debut. He raced again for Jordan three weeks later in Italy and then completed a full season for Minardi in 2004.