The Hungarian Grand Prix is the 13th race of the season and is followed by the summer break.
After that, a further nine races remain, taking to the total for the season to 22, as the Russian Grand Prix was cancelled. Scuderia Ferrari heads to Budapest for what will be another very hot weekend at the Hungaroring.
The 4.381 kilometre circuit is very twisty and undulating, with a series of medium and slow speed corners requiring a very high level of downforce. Good aerodynamic balance and the right mechanical set-up are the attributes required to prevent the cars from sliding too much and stressing the tyres. Therefore, opportunities for overtaking are very limited, with the best chance of a successful move is in the first sector, at the end of the main straight. Here, the cars brake into a demanding downhill right hander followed in rapid succession by two more corners, before the track rises towards the second sector.
A feature of this track is the stress it places on the gearbox, given that each lap requires 78 gear changes, making a total of 3,710 changes over the course of the race. The gears that get the hardest time are those between third and sixth, while eighth is only used to save fuel. This race is also very tiring for the drivers, mainly because of the heat and the many flat out accelerations every single lap.
The cars take to the track for the first time on Friday for the usual two 60 minute free practice sessions at 14 and 17 CEST. Qualifying takes place on Saturday at 16, preceded at 13 by the final free practice session. The 36th Hungarian Grand Prix get underway at 15 on Sunday, run over 70 laps, equivalent to 306.63 kilometres.
Three questions to Diego Ioverno, Head of Vehicle Operation
What is your role and how did you come to be passionate about motorsport and, of course, Ferrari?
"Ever since I was a kid I was mad about almost all sports and, as I come from Bologna, that had to mean being passionate about Ferrari. I was somewhat obsessed about the road cars as well as the racing ones, seeing them for real or on television. When I had to decide what to study, I had no doubt about going down the path that would let me get close to this world. On the day I graduated in engineering, I was lucky to be called to Ferrari for the first of a series of interviews and I started working at the Gestione Sportiva in May 2000. Today, my job involves coordinating a group of engineers and mechanics that looks after development, testing, the build of the Formula 1 cars and their use on track. The people I work with assemble the gearbox, chassis, the suspension, brake and hydraulic systems for the homologation stage, as well as the bench test phase and for their use on track. We also see to the parts we supply to our customer teams. Then, there's the track operations, including pit stops, which is also within our remit".
Tell us about the Hungaroring track characteristics?
"The Hungaroring is a regular fixture on the Formula 1 calendar, given that we have been racing here for almost 40 years. It is always held in the height of summer, most commonly around mid-August. It is usually very hot, but there can also be sudden and heavy storms. It is a slow track and like Monaco and Singapore, it is very difficult to overtake and generally, the cars are run in maximum downforce configuration to deal with the many slow corners. It's a short track and the type of corners, the track surface, combined with the high temperatures, make it demanding on tyres, so Pirelli has chosen the compounds from the middle of the range – C2, C3 and C4. That's why, even if overtaking is not easy, one tyre stop is generally not enough in the race".
After last Sunday in France, this is another very hot race. The whole car, including the gearbox is under stress because of this. What can be done to alleviate that?
"From a temperature point of view, the Hungaroring is potentially more difficult than France as there are far fewer straights where components such as the radiators for the power unit, the gearbox oil, the brakes and other parts that require cooling, can benefit from as much airflow as possible. While it's true that this is not a track where high average power is needed per lap and so there is less energy to dissipate, it's still something that cannot be taken for granted. Therefore, it will be important to choose the optimal cooling levels for reliability and performance after Friday, when we will check the correlation between real data and the modelling and simulation which, as always, are used to prepare for each event. Managing the heat of the tyres in the sunny conditions will also be very important".
Ferrari in Hungary
GP entered 36
Debut 1986 (S. Johansson 4th; M. Alboreto ret.)
Wins 7 (19.44%)
Pole positions 8 (22.22%)
Fastest race laps 9 (25%)
Total podiums 26 (24.07%)
Facts & Figures
1. The number of cars lined up on the grid for the start of the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes was the only driver on the grid, as all the others opted to pit at the end of the formation lap when it was clear that the track had already dried up enough to fit slick tyres. As the lead car on the lap to the grid, Hamilton had less time to make an informed decision and was therefore the driver who suffered most. With Charles out of the race almost immediately, having been hit by Lance Stroll, Scuderia Ferrari and its fans pinned all their hopes on Carlos' efforts, as he fought his way from fifth on the grid to third.
2. Hungary's position on the list of European landlocked nations rated by their size. Belarus is the biggest, covering an area of 207,595 kmē, while Hungary is next up on 93,030 kmē. The other 14 countries with no coastline are Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Kosovo, Czech Republic, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Northern Macedonia, Moldova, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland and the Vatican City.
8. The different types of Hungarian paprika. Kulonleges is the most delicate, very sweet with an intense and brilliant red colour; Edesnemes, bright red and the sweetest but also slightly spicy, is the most exported paprika; Csiposmentes csemege, delicate with a rich flavour; Csemegepaprika, a very strong taste; Csipos csemege pikans is even stronger; Rozsa is pale red, with a strong aroma and a slight spiciness; Feledes, a mixture of semi-sweet paprika with medium spiciness and light brown Eros, the spiciest, strong smelling paprika.
11. The number of times - which will go up to 12 this Sunday - that this typical summer race, has been held in July. Usually, it is an August fixture, held in that month 24 times out of a total of 35 editions. The earliest the engines were fired up at the Hungaroring was 19 July. That was down to the unusual Covid-19 affected 2020 calendar. The latest it was ever run was 24 August in 2003, when it was the fourth from last race of the year.
412. The number of points Ferrari has scored in Hungary. It puts the Scuderia at the top of the list, ahead of McLaren on 301, Red Bull Racing with 289 and Mercedes on 260.
At Ferrari 75 years ago
At the end of July 1947, Ferrari is working on its second ever racing car, the 159 S. It is fitted with an evolution of the 12 cylinder engine designed by Giacchino Colombo, bored out to 1902 cc, so that it now puts out 125 horsepower at 7000 rpm. The new model makes its debut at the Pescara Circuit on 15th August. At the wheel is Ferrari "regular" Franco Cortese who immediately takes the lead, but he has to pit after just three laps with lubrication problems. The car stays in the pits for 21 minutes, while the oil cooler is repaired before he rejoins the race. He is lapping quicker and quicker, setting the fastest lap. Vincenzo Auricchio in the Stanguellini and Giovanni Bracco driving a Delage are ahead of him. But Bracco runs out of fuel, promoting Cortese to second. The result is not good enough for Enzo Ferrari, but considering how it was come by, it was a fair reward for the all the hard work the team put in over the weekend.