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Verstappen to strike back against Hamilton - What to expect at the Hungarian GP

Verstappen to strike back against Hamilton - What to expect at the Hungarian GP

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Verstappen to strike back against Hamilton - What to expect at the Hungarian GP

Verstappen to strike back against Hamilton - What to expect at the Hungarian GP

Just as the heat has died down on THAT incident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, F1 arrives in Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The championship gap is now just eight points after the dramatic clash at Silverstone that has caused consternation, heated debate and excitement for what lies around the corner in the quest for the title.

With the Hungaroring providing a completely different challenge to the previous races in Britain, Austria and France, here is what we can look forward to this weekend.

Verstappen to strike back

Red Bull has so far proven strong on all types of tracks. At the start of the year, though, the team would have highlighted this circuit as one where it would have felt confident of getting one over on Mercedes.

The twisting nature of the Hungaroring presents an opportunity for Red Bull to reassert its dominance, rather than steal a victory.

We know from the Monaco GP the Mercedes W12 is not comfortable with slow-speed, quick changes of direction whilst the Red Bull RB16B is at its best on a circuit with that type of layout.

So whilst Hamilton and Mercedes managed to cut the championship deficits at Silverstone, expect the gaps to widen again, especially as the team could struggle to even finish third and fourth, see below.

Ferrari to be a contender?

Cast your mind back to Monaco and remember the strength of Ferrari? A pole position - although Charles Leclerc was unable to start due to damage from his qualifying crash - and a podium ensured the grid knew the team was back.

At Silverstone, Ferrari was impressive again, even though the layout was, in theory, a difficult one for the car's characteristics, especially given the nightmarish experience both Leclerc and Carlos Sainz endured at Paul Ricard.

The track dubbed 'Monaco without the walls' presents a genuine opportunity for Ferrari to challenge for a podium, which is far from an outside bet.

Don't be surprised if the red machines are the second fastest across the weekend.

Ricciardo to continue improved form

It may not have been a perfect weekend for Daniel Ricciardo at Silverstone but it certainly was a much-improved event that will have provided the McLaren driver with a much-needed confidence boost.

The Australian finally managed to piece a weekend together with both qualifying and the race providing positive results. Even the sprint in between the two sessions was also solid.

His pace compared to Lando Norris was still not incredible but points are points and with the opportunity to return to Hungary, where he has tasted success previously, it should provide hope his form can continue.

Ricciardo's famed braking performance will come into play at turns one and two, whilst the flowing mid-section of the track should suit the car's characteristics.

Alonso to dazzle at 40

Ricciardo declared Fernando Alonso had the "best racecraft" on the grid after his Silverstone sprint exploits.

Yes, Alonso has put the start of the season firmly behind him with some stellar racing being backed up by regular points finishes in the Alpine.

The Spaniard turns 40 on Thursday but he has said himself the questions levelled at him about his age are becoming "tiring".

The circuit is a happy hunting ground for Alonso, who in 2003 became the then youngest driver to win an F1 race when taking his first victory with his current team, then known as Renault.

There is no reason whatsoever why Alonso cannot be the best of the rest at the Hungaroring this weekend.

Another leading battle clash

With Hamilton and Verstappen setting out their stalls at Silverstone with an indication that neither will give an inch in their battle for the title, the racy nature of the first sector at Hungary provides plenty of opportunity for a repeat clash.

Turn one lends itself to side-by-side action before a plunge downhill into turn two flip-flops the high-ground, meaning any two cars have the ability to race wheel-to-wheel up to turn three.

If the situation arises, will Hamilton yield this time? Will Verstappen give a wider berth to hold onto the chance of winning? Will revenge be enacted?

The drivers are the same and when the visors are shut ahead of the race, you can bet on the same approaches being taken.

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John
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Jul 2021
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John

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