The eighth round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship returns to action this weekend at the Hungaroring.

Championship leader George Russell will be hoping to extend his points’ advantage at this tight and twisty circuit, while his rivals Lando Norris, Alexander Albon and Artem Markelov will need big points’ hauls to remain in the fight before the series takes a one-month summer break.

The Circuit

Hungaroring - 2018 Formula 2 Race of Hungary

Location Mogyoród, Hungary
Circuit Length 4.381 km
Opened 1986 Direction Clockwise
Capacity 70,000 Lap Record 1:26.268, Oliver Rowland (2017)
2017 Feature Race Winner Oliver Rowland 2017 Sprint Race Winner Nobuhara Matsushita

A popular track among the drivers, the Hungaroring features numerous technical sections and a mix of low- and high-speed corners that pose a test to car set-ups and driver skill.

Louis Delétraz (Charouz Racing System): “The Hungaroring is one of the nicest venues of the year for me, it’s a really twisty track with many corners, a bit like Monaco but on a normal circuit. It’s also really warm, perhaps the warmest of the year, and although there’s high temperatures the new tarmac that was laid about two years ago really reduced the degradation compared to the year before. It’s very smooth, and it’s great to race there – you really need to get into the flow, corner by corner, and if you miss one you miss the others, so you need to be precise. The middle sector is very interesting, and then there’s four fast corners where you start slower and get quicker and quicker – it’s all left-right-left-right from Turns 8 to 11, which are very interesting and intense – again, you have to be precise, but also aggressive and fast.

“It’s not the easiest place to overtake, but I think the strategy will be interesting there. With the heat, we’ll really have to look after the tyres, and it’s one of the tracks I’m really looking forward to. Hopefully it’ll be a great race.”

The Event

2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship Race of Hungary – Schedule
Event Dates 27-29 July 2018 Pirelli Tyres
Free Practice Fri 12:55-13:40 Qualifying Fri 16:55-17:25
Feature Race (37 laps) Sat 16:45-17:45 Sprint Race (28 laps) Sun 11:20-12:00

Session times quoted in Central European Summer Time (UTC / GMT + 02:00)

The Form Guide

The Formula 2 Championship has attracted some unwelcome headlines in the weeks following the previous round at Silverstone, where Alexander Albon and Maximilian Günther claimed a win apiece over two incident-filled races.

The chief instigator was Trident driver Santino Ferrucci, who found himself handed a four-race ban by the FIA and subsequently fired by the Italian team for deliberately colliding with teammate Arjun Maini. It was a disgraceful sequence of events that ultimately did far more damage to the offending driver than the sport itself, and full credit should go to Trident for their swift action in firing the American. The team has promoted its GP3 Series driver Alessio Lorandi in his place for the rest of the season.

In terms of the championship battle, George Russell – after finally claiming the lead from Lando Norris in Austria – extended his points’ advantage with a solid round at the duo’s home event at Silverstone. The Mercedes protégé leads Norris by 37 points in their quest for the title and the pair are guaranteed to be fighting hard to head into the summer break on top.

Albon’s Feature Race win at Silverstone returned him to third overall in the standings, but the Anglo-Thai driver will need to make major in-roads this weekend and close down the 54-point gap to Russell. The same applies to Artem Markelov – while the Russian is a three-time race winner this year, but his cause has not been helped by some very patchy qualifying form that has seen him needing to fight his way through the field.

The hot weather forecasted will create further strategic headaches for the drivers and teams. Being undoubtedly the greatest tyre master on the grid, Markelov will benefit most from Pirelli’s decision to supply the Supersoft and Medium compound tyres this weekend.

Hungaroring Weather Forecast
Friday 19°C – 31°C Saturday 20°C – 31°C Sunday 21°C – 33°C

Images via FIA Formula 2 Championship

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Geoff Burke

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Site co-founder. Social Media guru. All-round trouble-maker.