The FIA Formula 2 Championship wasn’t in action at last weekend’s German Grand Prix but the field will once again fire up for the eighth round of the season at the Hungaroring.
|Location||Mogyoród, Hungary||Circuit Length||4.381 km / 2.722 mi|
|Opened||1986||First F2 Race||1998|
|Direction||Clockwise||Lap Record||1:26.268 – Oliver Rowland – 2017|
|2018 Pole Position
||Sérgio Sette Câmara||2018 Race Winners
||Nyck de Vries (Feature)
Alexander Albon (Sprint)
“I really like the Hungaroring because it’s a really technical track. It’s not all about the high-speed corners, it’s also technically difficult, and so it’s really hard to try and put everything together during one lap. It’s a challenging track to drive.
“There’s not one specific corner that provides more of a challenge than any other. Every single corner is difficult. I guess that makes the whole circuit a specific challenge when compared to other tracks.
“Tyre degradation also plays a key role and you have to look after your tyres if you are going to survive until the end of the race. That all adds to the difficulty. I’d say the best place to overtake is in Turn 1. You have to be really smooth in Sector 3 to follow the guy in front, making sure you don’t make a mistake in the last corner, and then you can use the DRS to help you get past into the first corner. There are other places to overtake but that’s the easiest place to get a move done.
“I’ve won twice in Hungary and have had some of the best experiences of my career there at this level. I also did F1 testing there in 2017 with Sauber. I remember it was really hot, but it is a good memory! I’m really looking forward to going back and racing and I would really like to win there again.” – Nobuhara Matsushita (Carlin)
|2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship – Race of Hungary Schedule (02-04 August 2019)|
|Free Practice Session 1||Fri 13:00-13:45||Qualifying||Fri 16:55-17:25|
|Feature Race (37 laps)||Sat 10:10-11:10||Sprint Race (28 laps)||Sun 11:25-12:10|
Session times quoted in Central European Summer Time (GMT + 02:00)
Rewind to 2018
Last year’s visit to the Hungaroring delivered plenty of excitement, with Nyck de Vries and Alexander Albon sharing the spoils of victory while championship leader George Russell had a shocker.
Wet weather created conditions for a thrilling Feature Race, with de Vries timing his compulsory pit stop to perfection. The PREMA Racing driver had initially struggled on the damp track surface, but once he switched to Medium compound tyres on a drying track he was simply unstoppable. The Dutch youngster carved into the lead held by Lando Norris – who’d been equally mighty when the track was at its wettest – and overtook the McLaren reserve driver at the Turn 6/7 chicane before powering away to a 16-second victory. Pole-sitter Sergio Sette Câmara crossed the finish line in third place, having inherited the position when he turfed Antonio Fuoco into a spin on the last lap of the race – the Brazilian was handed a 10-second time penalty that reinstated Fuoco onto the final step of the podium.
Sunday’s Sprint Race was staged in completely dry conditions and this time it was Albon who won, claiming his third race victory of the 2018 season to keep his own championship hopes alive. Luca Ghiotto held the lead for much of the race after a lightning start vaulted him ahead of front-row starters Artem Markelov (Russian Time) and Sette Câmara (Carlin), with Albon slipping into second place. As the race wore on, the hot conditions placed a major strain on tyre wear and in the final laps Ghiotto could not hold Albon back.
Championship leader George Russell saw his healthy points advantage cut to just 12 points over Norris. The ART Grand Prix driver retired from the Feature Race with an engine failure and hustled his way to eighth place from the back of the grid in the Sprint Race, claiming a solitary point for his efforts.
The Hungaroring Form Guide
There was plenty for the home fans to celebrate last time out at Silverstone with British outfit UNI-Virtuosi Racing setting the pace for the majority of the weekend. Luca Ghiotto was the man to catch in free practice, and the Italian continued his pace in qualifying before teammate Guanyu Zhou went fastest to take pole and lock out the front row for the Norfolk-based team.
Ghiotto edged ahead of the Chinese rookie in the opening lap before battling to take the first F2 Feature Race win of his career. Campos Racing’s Jack Aitken continued to give the British crowd reasons to be cheerful, pulling off audacious overtakes on championship leader Nyck de Vries and then Louis Delétraz to take the lead and secure his second victory of the season to rapturous applause.
This weekend’s pair of races will see PREMA Racing driver Sean Gelael return to the cockpit after his self-imposed exile at Silverstone. The Indonesian driver opted to withdraw from both races at Silverstone in protest of the FIA Stewards’ last-minute decision to increase the penalty imposed upon him for his practice collision with Delétraz.
Also back on the grid this weekend is Ralph Boschung, who returns to his race seat at Trident. The Swiss driver was sidelined for the Austrian and British rounds when he lost a sponsor, but has managed to secure enough of a budget to return to the Italian backmarker team’s line-up alongside Giuliano Alesi.
Despite a relatively indifferent weekend in Silverstone, de Vries (170 points) consolidated his lead in the Drivers’ Championship, however second-placed Nicholas Latifi (139) closed the gap slightly to 31 points. Ghiotto (122) leapfrogged Sérgio Sette Câmara (121) into third position by a single point thanks to his Feature Race win at Silverstone.
DAMS (260) are top of the Teams’ Championship though a solid weekend for UNI-Virtuosi Racing (227) have seen them narrow the gap to 33 points. French outfit ART Grand Prix are currently third with 176 points, with all but six of those points earned by de Vries.
Images via FIA Formula 2 Championship