School’s out for summer!
Well, not quite. Before Formula 1 enters its annual summer shutdown, there’s the not-so-small matter of the Hungarian Grand Prix. Dubbed ‘Monaco without walls’, the Hungaroring is an altogether different test to the one we faced at a fast, flowing Silverstone a fortnight ago.
To get you prepped for this weekend, check out our latest race preview for the thoughts of McLaren F1 drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, and Team Principal Andreas Seidl. There are also a few pointers on what to watch out for, plus news of merchandise and a giveaway that are ‘so extra’.
How to follow
|When||30 July - 1 August|
|Start time||15:00 local, 14:00 BST, 09:00 EDT|
|Follow||TEAMStream and the McLaren App for exclusive commentary and insight|
What they say
“I’m looking forward to heading back to Hungary, a track that has good memories for me after my official F1 test debut there in 2017. We’ve had a good start to the season so far, and we’ll be aiming to finish the first half of the year on a high, before a break over the summer shutdown. The Hungaroring can be a tricky circuit to get right, and we know that it’ll be a challenge to outperform our closest rivals in the Constructors’ Championship. But we’ll be giving it everything to continue building that gap and set ourselves up for a strong second half of the season.”
“I can’t wait to go to Budapest, it's one of my favourite tracks on the calendar and a race that I've won in the past as well. It’s a very tight and technical circuit with high levels of downforce required on the car, but that just adds to the challenge and excitement for me, it’s a real driver’s track. It’s a circuit where overtaking can be difficult, so we’ll be working hard to maximise our performance on Saturday, which should line us up for a slightly easier Sunday. As always, we’ll keep working hard to score as many points as we can and keep pushing in the Constructors’ Championship.”
“The Hungaroring presents the team with an interesting challenge compared to the relatively high-speed tracks of Austria and Silverstone. With high downforce levels and a tight, twisting layout, it's no surprise many often describe the circuit as Monaco without the walls.
“The team, along with Lando and Daniel have done a fantastic job so far to put us in this position in the Constructors’ Championship, but we know the fight is far from over, and momentum could shift away from us with a single difficult weekend. The challenges posed by the Hungaroring may not suit our car as much other circuits on the calendar, but much of the fight for third this year will be decided by how well we perform at tracks that don’t naturally play to our strengths.
“We’ll be working hard as a team, alongside Mercedes HPP, to ensure we maximise any opportunities that present themselves over the weekend. As always, the aim is to score a good haul of points and keep pushing for the highest possible position in the Constructors' Championship. The team will be giving it all this weekend before we have a chance to regroup and recharge over the summer break.”
What the stats say
Another preview, another nod to Lando’s fine form. Fourth last time out at the British Grand Prix saw Lando extend his run of points finishes to 15 consecutive races – more than any other McLaren driver. Fernando Alonso was the previous record holder, with 14 consecutive points scores between the Australian and Belgian Grands Prix in 2007. Lando remains the only driver to finish in the top 10 in every race this season and he would no doubt love to keep it that way heading into the summer break.
We’re big fans of the Hungaroring at McLaren. Our 11 Hungarian Grand Prix wins make us the most successful constructor in the race’s history. The first came with Ayrton Senna behind the wheel in 1988 and the most recent was in 2012 with Lewis Hamilton. Four of our wins here were with Lewis and our win in 2009 marked the first hybrid engine victory in F1.
Daniel is a big fan of the Hungaroring too. He scored his second grand prix victory here in 2014 and then followed up with a brace of third-place finishes in 2015 and 2016. Having achieved his best result of the season so far with fifth at the British Grand Prix, he’ll be looking to build on that momentum this weekend and carry it into the second half of the campaign.
What to watch out for
For starters, normal service is resumed as F1 reverts to the traditional race weekend format after the sprint qualifying experiment at Silverstone. You can expect to see the usual three practice sessions this weekend, with two on Friday before another on Saturday that’s followed by qualifying.
The Hungaroring is tight and technical making it a difficult place to pull off an overtake, and a one-stop strategy is often the way to go in the race. It all adds up to track position tending to be king here and teams placing slightly more emphasis on qualifying; don’t be surprised to free practice work biased towards quali performance, with more time spent on Soft tyres and lower-fuel runs.
Being fast at the Hungaroring requires a good chassis, great traction, bucketloads of mechanical grip and plenty of downforce. It’s considered a low-speed circuit but, because of the amount of downforce generated by the current F1 cars, it’s crept towards medium-speed in recent years. Nevertheless, it’s very a different challenge to the preceding races at Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring. As a maximum downforce circuit, teams will be piling on as much of the stuff as they can and we’ll be introducing some aerodynamic upgrades to the MCL35M that should help in this regard.
What to wear
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
With so many of you scrambling to get your mitts on our 2021 Team Hoodie, it wasn’t long until we were running low on this McLaren essential. Thankfully, we’ve managed to get some extra hoodies in stock – so get them while you’ve got the chance. And if that wasn’t enough ‘extra’ for you, the Team Hoodie is now available in 3XL and 4XL.
Wow, that’s a lot of ‘extra’. Give us a minute, we need a breather…
Oh no, wait! Turns out that wasn’t enough. There’s more! We’re giving away one of these hoodies to one very lucky McLaren Plus member. But this isn’t just any Team Hoodie. This one has been signed by Lando and Daniel. Want this piece of signed merch in your life? Make sure you’re signed up to McLaren Plus – you can sign up for free using the form below – and keep an eye on your inbox later this week for an email giving you the chance to enter the competition.
Join the team
McLaren Plus is our free-to-join fan loyalty programme, bringing McLaren fans closer to the team with the most inclusive, rewarding and open-to-all fan programmes in F1 & esports.
Sign up now, or current members can amend their details in the form below if necessary.