2022 Hungarian Grand Prix Predictions & Race Preview
Track Preview – Hungaroring
The 13th race in the Formula 1 calendar will be held in Hungary on the legendary Hungaroring track. This circuit debuted in 1986, and only Monza (1981) and Monaco (1955) have longer streaks of hosting the Grand Prix.
Usually, Hungaroring is one of the most boring races of the year. The main reason for that is the lack of space for overtaking on the track. The only real room for maneuver is on the main straight. The corners just keep coming, and that means that good chassis performance is rewarded here.
Esteban Ocon won sensationally last year, mostly thanks to his teammate Fernando Alonso, who kept Lewis Hamilton 11 laps behind him. Hamilton won eight times here, and that makes him the most successful Hungary Grand Prix driver.
The circuit length is 4,381 kilometers, and the scheduled distance is 70 laps. The track will feature 14 turns and two DRS zones.
There is no more room for Ferrari mistakes
From Ferrari’s perspective, the race in France was absurd. After good results in Silverstone and Spielberg, they seemed to have good momentum. Confirmation of that came last Saturday when Charles Leclerc took his seventh pole position of the year, but Sunday was again a real nightmare for Ferrari.
When he was first on lap 18, Leclerc lost the rear end, spun, and ended up in a tire barrier. This opened the way for Verstappen’s easy victory in France, which eventually happened. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell took second and third place, thus confirming that Mercedes is slowly returning to the big stage.
Listening to Carlos Sainz’s team radio was also comical. The Spaniard had to start from the bottom of the grid due to an engine change, but he improved a lot during the race. However, Ferrari made several mistakes with him, but the biggest one happened in the box when they cost him five seconds due to an unsafe release.
A deficit of 63 points is not impossible to catch
With 10 races to go, Verstappen has 63 points ahead of Leclerc, and many believe the championship is already decided. However, history teaches us that great comebacks are possible, and Leclerc will have to make just one of those.
In 2012, Sebastian Vettel had 39 points less than Fernando Alonso seven races before the end of the season and still won the title. Two years before that, with six races to go, Vettel was 31 points behind then first-placed Hamilton, but the German became world champion.
We should also mention the legendary return of Kimi Raikkonen, who in 2007 had 17 points less than Hamilton with two races left on the calendar. Back then, 10 points were awarded for victory and eight points for second place.
Raikkonen won the last two races, while Hamilton went off the track in China, and then in Brazil, he was seventh and collected only two points. In the end, Raikkonen had 110 points, Hamilton 109.
In Formula 1, anything is possible, but Leclerc’s time is running out. The ideal scenario for him in Hungary is a win, with Verstappen’s result as weak as possible to reduce the gap to less than 50 points before the four-week summer vacation in August.
Pick: Ferrari driver to win the race – YES
Hungaroring is the track where Ferrari will have a big advantage over Red Bull. Top speed won’t play a big role here because there are no major straights apart from the main straight.
In addition, Leclerc needs to win here in order to keep his chances of becoming world champion in December. Just in case, “Ferrari driver to win” is a smarter bet than „Leclerc to win. “ Given the advantage that Ferrari will have, it may happen that Sainz will be first in case Leclerc has an accident.
Advices & Tips
Pick: Haas top driver will be higher placed in the race than Alpha Tauri top driver – YES
In addition to Red Bull, the track configuration should not suit Alpha Tauri either. Recently, they haven’t made good results even on the tracks that were in their favor. On the other hand, Haas will be a contender for the top 10 here, and they should easily win this duel.
Pick: Esteban Ocon in Top 10 in the race – YES
Currently, Alpine is fourth-best team in the championship. In addition, Esteban Ocon won the race on this circuit last year, and if he doesn’t have any technical problems, he should be able to finish in the top 10 without any kind of troubles.
First free practice: 14:00-15:00
Second free practice: 17:00-18:00
Third free practice: 13:00-14:00