Flying McLaren and reinvigorated Red Bull spell bad news for Mercedes.
Although direct comparisons are tricky, given the different compounds, there are signs that Red Bull and McLaren will again be locked in a close battle for supremacy this weekend.
19th July 2024
Will Wood

Red Bull have only been able to bring one full raft of upgrades to the Hungaroring this weekend, with, unsurprisingly, Verstappen getting the full benefit of them. But despite missing out on having the optimum Red Bull package, in theory, Sergio Perez was far happier at the end of Friday than he so often has been in recent months, saying that this was “the most comfortable I have felt with the car at this stage of the weekend in a while.”

Norris was quickest over a single lap, but even his long run on the hard tyres looked promising, matching or being even faster than Verstappen’s runs on the mediums, which were slightly slower but more consistent. Unfortunately for Ferrari fans, Charles Leclerc missed out on any opportunity to get a long run in after crashing out of the session early. However, even Sainz’s high-fuel runs would have done little to help his team feel like they are any closer to fighting for more wins this weekend.

Instead, it looks as though the fight for pole position could be between the world champions and McLaren – with Perez potentially a genuine factor at the front once again. But Norris and Piastri will have a difficult prospect to keep the Red Bulls off the top spot, as suggested by how Verstappen and Perez were quickest through sectors two and three, respectively, on their fastest laps of Friday while Norris ahead only through the opening sector.

‘Bad news for Mercedes’;

McLaren vs Red Bull to resume? Five data clues from Hungarian GP practice
19 Jul 2024
Pablo Hidalgo

After a hot afternoon of practice in Hungary, the teams are already analysing telemetry data and long runs to prepare race strategies and analyse qualifying paces. Red Bull and McLaren look to be the strongest for the Hungarian GP, although Mercedes and Ferrari could join the battle at any time.

It’s already a classic of this season, but Friday’s data gives us another duel between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris. The Red Bull team has brought an update package that has paid off and both Verstappen and Sergio Perez have been very comfortable. The Mexican, in fact, had his best Friday since the Chinese GP.

The FP1 and FP2 sessions at the Hungaroring have left us with some interesting data to analyse and several names to watch out for in qualifying and the race on Sunday. Although we don’t know a lot of data such as the fuel load of each car, the engine map selected, etc. the data from Friday at the Hungarian GP gives us a bigger picture of how the weekend might unfold.

‘Five data clues’;

Norris preparing for ‘mentally draining’ Hungarian GP after topping FP2
19 Jul 2024
Formula One - Official Site (Video)

Lando Norris was quickest in second practice, but it expecting a very tough Grand Prix in the Hungary heat on Sunday.

‘Mentally draining’;

Charles Leclerc reveals extent of Ferrari damage after Hungarian GP practice crash
19 Jul 2024
Henry Valantine

Charles Leclerc admitted he thought the damage to his Ferrari would be “much bigger” than it was, after crashing out of FP2 in Hungary on Friday. Leclerc hit the inside wall on the exit of the high-speed Turn 4 at the Hungaroring after catching the kerb and being sent into a spin, the weight of the impact setting off the sensor that required the Medical Car to be deployed – though he reported immediately that he was okay.

“Well, when I lost it I thought the damage would be much bigger,” Leclerc said after the session. “The damage is not that big, but obviously it’s enough for us to not continue the session and that’s never what you want. What happened is that I ran a bit wide on the kerb, I got a snap in the middle of Turn 4, got a bit wide on the kerb and then lost the car on the kerb.”

“The car was pretty good. The feeling is getting a little bit better, we had more of a consistent day compared to the last three or four weekends. So that’s positive. Unfortunately, with the mistake, the mileage was cut short, but hopefully we’ll recover that in FP3 tomorrow.”

‘Extent of Ferrari damage’;

HIGHLIGHTS: Enjoy the Hungaroring FP2 action as Norris goes quickest for McLaren while Leclerc crashes out
19 Jul 2024
Formula One - Official Site

Lando Norris continued his strong recent run of form in Free Practice 2 for the Hungarian Grand Prix, topping the session by over two-tenths from championship leader Max Verstappen. Norris topped the times with a lap of 1m 17.788s around a toasty-hot Hungaroring track, leaving him 0.243s to the good over Verstappen in the upgraded Red Bull RB20.

Charles Leclerc fans will have been sad to see their driver not featuring at the front of the field, after the Ferrari driver crashed around 15 minutes into FP2, swiping his SF-24 down the wall at Turn 5 and bringing out the red flags, with Leclerc playing no further part in the session. Enjoy the action from FP2 at the Hungarian Grand Prix in the video above.

‘Hungaroring FP2 action’;

Full scale of Red Bull's huge Hungarian GP upgrade revealed
Red Bull have brought one of the largest upgrade packages to the Hungarian Grand Prix in the F1 field.
19 July 2024
Jake Nichol

The full details of Red Bull's huge Hungarian Grand Prix upgrade have been revealed, with it being one of the largest packages in the field. The most-striking and visual detail is to the engine cover and cooling with the 'shoulder' air inlets ditched and the long cooling channels ditched for a more conventional design.

Red Bull states this is to achieve "better cooling efficiency for a high ambient temperature and relatively slow circuit." In other words, it could be deemed as a 'high downforce package', with the halo, rear corner and front wing and front suspension also taking in new parts to improve the airflow and add more performance-enhancing load.

In contrast, rivals Mercedes only has a small upgrade to the rear of the car to improve rear downforce, whilst Ferrari has brought a small reworked upgrade to the floor underbody to try and eliminate the bouncing it has been suffering since its Spanish GP upgrade. McLaren has not brought any upgrades to Budapest.

‘One of the largest upgrade packages’;

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes ‘not on form’ in Hungary as hot weather struggles continue
A tricky day for Mercedes as their hot weather struggles continued at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
19 Jul 2024
Connor McDonagh

Reflecting on the day at the Hungaroring. Hamilton said: “Today’s not been a good day really. The weather’s been good. It’s been nice to be here. We’ve not been on form today. The car hasn’t felt good setup wise. I think we have an idea why. We’ll just work overnight. Not the best prep so far.”

“Little tweaks but the car was pretty much the same [between the sessions]. “He added. “There’s a particular thing that we had left that was changed for this weekend that we need to go back on. It’s all relatively close otherwise. We couldn’t do the laps of the other guys today but the long run pace was decent at the end.”

‘Not on form’;

Lewis Hamilton says ‘very hot’ weather to blame with Mercedes struggling in Hungary practice
Published Jul 19, 2024
Callum McAvoy

Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell bemoaned the very hot weather after a difficult start to their Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. ‘It’s definitely very hot. Beautiful in Budapest as always!’ Hamilton told Sky Sports afterward with temperatures reaching upwards of 34°C at the circuit. Today’s not been a good day, really. The weather has been good and it’s been nice to be here but we’ve not really been on form today. Felt just as bad as it does normally when it’s hot.’

‘The car hasn’t felt good set-up-wise but we think we have an idea why and we’ll just work overnight. It’s not the best prep so far. There’s a particular thing that we’ve changed this weekend which we probably need to go back on.’ Lewis Hamilton.

George Russell: ‘We need to understand because in the hot conditions of Austria and Barcelona we were off the pace of those two drivers. In the cooler conditions of Silverstone we were ahead of those two. That’s something we need to work on.’

‘Very hot weather to blame’;