By Jessica Borrell

  • Hungaroring Preview
  • First race since death of Jules Bianchi
  • A strategical race rather than who has the best pace

HUNGARORING, BUDAPEST – A race usually exacting on the drivers, will become even more of a struggle this weekend.

This weekend will be hard for the drivers, not only physically but mentally as they resume the 2015 World Championship for the first time since the death of former Marussia driver Jules Bianchi was announced.

 

Bianchi was critically injured during the safety car phase of the Japanese Grand Prix in October, after colliding with a recovery vehicle. He suffered a diffuse axonal injury and was in a coma for nine months before finally succumbing to his injuries.

“Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end,” said the Bianchi family in a statement announcing his death. “The pain we feel is immense and indescribable. We wish to thank the medical staff at Nice’s CHU who looked after him with love and dedication.”

“Furthermore, we thank Jules’ colleagues, friends, fans and everyone who has demonstrated their affection for him over these past months, which gave us great strength and helped us deal with such difficult times. Listening to and reading the many messages made us realise just how much Jules had touched the hearts and minds of so many people all over the world.”

Bianchi’s funeral will take place in Nice tomorrow (Tuesday 21st July) and all at Britwatch Sports would like to send our condolences to the family and friends of Jules Bianchi, a man who was surely going to reach the top of the sport.

Hamilton looking to seal victory record

As it stands, both Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton have won at the Hungaroring four times, with Hamilton eying up the potential for a record fifth win this weekend. For Hamilton to do what no one else has, he must play the long game as fortune favours the smartest, not the fastest at this track.

It is slow, with winding corners and few places to overtake. Hamilton will need to keep his cool if Nico Rosberg gets ahead early in the race. Last year strategy played a vital role with Mercedes telling Hamilton to let Rosberg through (who was on a different strategy), only for Hamilton to defy team orders and make it hard for Rosberg to get by. Similar frustrations will not give Hamilton a crucial win.

Good down force will also mean Mercedes powered engines won’t dominate here in Budapest with hope for the others to get stuck in to the action.

Silly season has well and truly begun

It gets to a stage in the championship when team standings look more predictable, and a surprise charge by any looks minimal, that focus starts to change on who will be driving where next season.

The one driver which everyone is looking at to start the strenuous game of driver chess is William’s Valtteri Bottas. With another year of impressive performances, Ferrari look to be doing a Finnish exchange swapping one iceman for another. It has been reported that Kimi Raikonnen has two more races to show his potential at Ferrari, otherwise Bottas will be heading to Maranello to partner Sebastian Vettel.

That will leave a seat at Williams going spare, and Felipe Massa’s seat looks more concrete with him achieving consistently high results, and gaining a podium spot along the way. Williams are currently third in the constructors’ championship and look almost unrecognisable compared to back in 2010.

That year Nico Hulkenberg drove for them, and Britwatch Sports have a hunch that he will be returning in 2016. No one can complain about Hulkenberg’s driving, especially after winning the 24hr Le Mans race last month.

He has switched between Force India and Sauber for the last few years and surely this year is his opportunity to climb the ladder all in the paddock thinks he greatly deserves.

The Hungarian Grand Prix starts at 1pm and is live on the BBC and Sky Sports F1.

 

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