Hungary GP: Who will star at Hungaroring before mid-season break?

Nigel Mansell drives during the 1986 Hungarian Grand Prix
Nigel Mansell takes his Williams for a spin around the Hungaroring during the first race in 1986

Don't pack your swimming trunks in the suitcase just yet, there's one more race before F1 says "hello summer holidays".

Eleven races have come and gone and two drivers are still trying to out-fox each other in their bid to become a fifth-time world champion.

Hungary presents the chance for either Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel to gain the upper hand on the pack and skip into half-term top of the class.

This narrow and twisty track north east of Budapest was first introduced in 1986, with the idea of a Monaco-style street circuit being built in the capital's biggest public park - the People's Park.

Unfortunately, that dream never materialised and the small village of Mogyorod was chosen instead. Any fears that a first grand prix behind the Iron Curtain would fall flat were quickly dismissed as 200,000 spectators turned up to see Nelson Piquet's Williams pass around the outside of Ayrton Senna's Lotus to take victory.

The Hungaroring gives fans some of the best views on the calendar, with 80% visibility of the action from certain vantage points. Why not go one better and watch the drama unfold as you slip down the water slides at the Aquarena water park located near the venue?

Lewis Hamilton holds the record for the most wins in Hungary (five), although the Briton has never won a Hungarian Grand Prix and a world championship title in the same year.

Twelve months ago, one man who did look like achieving that goal was Sebastian Vettel. The German hung on to win a nail-biting contest despite troubles with his Ferrari, team-mate Kimi Raikkonen complaining he was faster and a late surge by rival Hamilton.

Sebastian Vettel celebrates winning the Hungarian Grand Prix while Fernando Alonso sits in a deck chair
Sebastian Vettel's champagne celebrations on the podium in 2017... while Fernando Alonso caught some pre-holiday rays below

The crowds were also treated to a Red Bull showdown as Max Verstappen's clumsy takeout of Daniel Ricciardo at Turn Two prompted tense words over the team radio and post-race. "If that's who I think it was? That's ******" was Ricciardo's icy response.

The plaudits were rightly given to Vettel for managing his race well in difficult circumstances. A 14-point lead was in the bag for the Scuderia and the month-long holiday looked all the sweeter.

But the elation in Budapest turned to the stuff of nightmares after the summer break. Vettel and Ferrari's season imploded in Asia in the space of three races. There was the multi-car pile-up in Singapore, an early retirement through engine troubles in Japan, and a spirited fourth-place finish from the back of the grid due to more engine problems in Malaysia.

The title was eventually lifted by Hamilton; the feeling of 'what if?' was felt by Vettel. After the high drama of Hockenheim last weekend, who will hold their nerve in Hungary this time out?

Flashback quiz

Four drivers have celebrated their maiden victories at the Hungaroring.

They also have four world championship titles between them.

A short quiz for a short circuit. Only one minute and 30 seconds on the clock to crack this one.


How many maiden winners can you name?

Score: 0 / 4
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Previously in F1: Round 11, Germany

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes is lifted off the track during qualifying for the German Grand Prix
Silver Arrow down: A devastated Lewis Hamilton watched his pole hopes disappear after his Mercedes suffered a hydraulic leak in Q1. Sebastian Vettel stole the front row spot from Valtteri Bottas to claim only his second pole position at his home grand prix since 2010
Sebastian Vettel crashes out of the German Grand Prix
'I'm so sorry guys': If qualifying was centred on Hamilton's emotional collapse, then Sunday was all about Sebastian Vettel's heartbreak. Dominating the race and with only 15 laps to go, the German crashed out in front of tens of thousands of home supporters. Mercedes earned a one-two finish and Hamilton - who started from 14th on the grid - took back a 17-point lead in the title fight

The track

A graphic to show the Formula 1 track layout of the Hungaroring in Hungary

Back pocket facts

  • If you're a budding writer, head to Budapest's City Park. Legend has it that touching the pen of the statue of Anonymus will bless you with great writing abilities.
  • One of Hungary's famous sons is master of escapology, Harry Houdini. Born Erik Weisz in 1874, the illusionist performed such acts as the suspended straitjacket escape, Chinese water torture cell and the buried alive stunt.
  • A rare breed of animal native to Hungary is called the mangalica. A cross between a pig and sheep, they have thick, coarse hair, can allegedly be as tame as a house pet and their meat has been described as "the Kobe beef of pork."
  • The millennials of Hungary have a special name, the DuckTales generation, due to the death of the first democratically elected Prime Minister Jozsef Antall being announced during the Disney-animated series in 1993.

Drivers' social

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How to follow on BBC Sport

BBC Sport has live coverage of all the season's races on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, plus live online commentary on the BBC Sport website and mobile app - including audience interaction, expert analysis, debate, voting, features, interviews and video content.

All times BST and are subject to change at short notice.

Hungarian Grand Prix coverage details
DateSessionTimeRadio coverageOnline text commentary
Friday, 27 July First practice09:55-11:35BBC Radio 5 live sports extraFrom 09:30
Second practice13:55-15:05BBC Sport onlineFrom 13:30
Preview 20:00-21:00 BBC Radio 5 live
Saturday, 28 July Final practice10:55-12:05BBC Radio 5 live sports extraFrom 10:30
Qualifying14:00-15:00 BBC Radio 5 live
Sunday, 29 July Race14:00-16:00BBC Radio 5 live From 12:30
Monday, 30 July Review04:30-05:00BBC Radio 5 live


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