Formula 1 – Russell’s pole, threat to Verstappen, Ferrari and Alpine offensive: the Hungarian GP in question

What time does the race start?

3 p.m. For 70 rounds.

Hungarian Grand Prix

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Is pole position an advantage at the Hungaroring?

Not really, contrary to what one might think. The man from pole position has won 16 times in 36 editions.

Is Russell (Mercedes) successful in his starts from the grid?

This year, yes. The Briton is a safe bet in this critical phase. Given his high positions on the grid, he is doing better than holding his rank: he has won 5 starting positions this year (including a +5 in the crush of Imola) and he has kept his starting place at 5 more rounds in the 1st round. For a loss (-3 in Miami) and a non-participation in the 2nd start at Silverstone. In short, he does not crack under pressure.

What stat makes Russell (Mercedes) optimistic about leaving?

Since Nico Rosberg had the advantage of his 1st place on the grid stolen by Lewis Hamilton in 2016, the poleman has turned in the lead at kick-off.

Where are we with the curse of the new poleman?

It ended at Silverstone! Gone is the new poleman who never wins. Since Pastor Maldonado (Williams), in Montmelo in 2012, it was permanent failure. But Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) twisted his neck to this stat by winning on July 4 in England.

What strategy for Ferrari?

Before the first tests, Charles Leclerc already had the idea of ​​​​doing everything to win, in order to (again) start taking points from Max Verstappen. He starts 3rd, on the clean part of the grid, but behind Carlos Sainz, who does not intend to play second fiddle. The battle is open for the Reds, but the Scuderia may be forced to make a choice in order to beat George Russell (Mercedes), in a two against one match.

However, Scuderia competition director Laurent Mékiès indicated that the team’s concern will be with Red Bull, 10th and 11th on the grid with Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez. “We will be very focused on the positions of Red Bullsaid the Frenchman. They will start far away, but we have no illusions: they will be fast. It’s possible we’ll see a safety car and they’ll be right behind us.”

On this side, nothing serious in the marble: the safety car has only intervened twice during the five editions organized since 2017.

Has Verstappen’s (Red Bull) engine problem been solved?

Yes. “It was a mechanical problem. We have to replace a part before the race, without being sanctioned“, indicated the special adviser Helmut Marko, in Auto, Motor and Sport.

Does Alpine have any reserve?

The Blues made a nice group shot with Esteban Ocon, winner at the Hungaroring in 2021, 5th and Fernando Alonso, 6th, and the objective is to beat the McLaren of Lando Norris. To hear the French, it is not won. “We are once again overtaken by Lando [Norris]who seemed slightly faster than us today”he noted.

But for “Nando”, it’s all seen: the MCL36 n°4 has nothing to do in front of him. Author of the 2nd time in Q2 before staying in his garage, he thought he would qualify “a little higher in the hierarchy” in Q3. Team objective: leave the two Woking machines behind the two A522s. Which would be one more step forward compared to Le Castellet.

What problem still risks disrupting the course of the race?

The judgment of the runway limits. FIA Race Control took a lap time from Sergio Pérez in Q2, forcing him to switch to another set of fresh tyres. Before the instance realized their mistake and gave “Checo” their time back. “Formula 1 is a billion dollar business and they can’t define the limits of the track correctly. It’s the third time in a row that this has happened, after Austria and France”remarked the 79-year-old Austrian to Auto Motor and Sport.

What strategy for the race?

Pirelli notes that cooling the ambient temperature can get the “soft” mixture back in play, for one or two stops.

George Russell can’t believe it: he took his first F1 pole at the Hungaroring during the 2022 Hungarian GP

Credit: Getty Images

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