Wednesday, July 24, 2013


A major coup by Bernie Ecclestone, the 1986 Hungarian Grand Prix was the first Formula One race to take place behind the Iron Curtain. Held at the twisty Hungaroring in Mogyoród near Budapest, the race has been a mainstay of the racing calendar. Run in the heat of a central European summer, it also held the distinction of being the only current Grand Prix venue that had never seen a wet race up until the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix. The first Grand Prix saw 200,000 people attending, although tickets were expensive at the time. Today, the support is still very enthusiastic, particularly from Finns.

Due to the nature of the track, narrow, twisty and often dusty because of under-use, the Hungarian Grand Prix is associated with processional races, with sometimes many cars following one another, unable to pass. Thierry Boutsen demonstrated this perfectly in 1990, keeping his slower Williams car in front of champion-elect Ayrton Senna, unable to find a way by. The secret to a winning performance at Hungaroring, as well as qualifying well, is pit strategy, best demonstrated in 1998, where Michael Schumacher's Ferrari team changed his strategy mid-race before Schumacher put in one of his finest drives to build up a winning margin after all the stops had been made. Passing is a rarity here, although the 1989 race saw a famously bullish performance from Nigel Mansell in the Ferrari, who started from 12th on the grid and passed car after car, finally taking the lead in splendid opportunist style when Ayrton Senna was baulked by a slower runner. The circuit was modified slightly in 2003 in an attempt to allow more passing.

The Hungaroring is a motor-racing circuit in Mogyoród, near Budapest, Hungary where the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix is held. Bernie Ecclestone wanted a race in the USSR, but a Hungarian friend of his recommended Budapest. They wanted a street circuit similar to the Circuit de Monaco to be built in the Népliget – Budapest's largest park – but the government decided to build a new circuit just outside the city near a major highway. Construction works started on October 1, 1985. It was built in eight months, less time than any other Formula One circuit. The first race was held on March 24, 1986 in memory of János Drapál, the first Hungarian who won motorcycle Grand Prix races. According to a survey put together by the national tourism office of Hungary, Mogyoród ranks third in Hungarian venues visited by tourists, following the Danube Bend-area and Lake Balaton, but before Budapest.

The start is always crucial at the Hungaroring, as the slow second and third corners tend to open the field out. The run down to Turn 1 is quite long; from pole position to the braking point before Turn 1 is 400m. KERS will be important at the start, but in the race it will be less effective; there is not a lot of high energy braking time so it’s hard to get the KERS fully charged during a lap of the race.


Track length : 4.381km kilometres
Race distance : 70 laps (306.630 kilometres)
Corners : 14 corners in total
Average speed : 196km/h (lowest of any permanent track on F1 calendar)
Aerodynamic setup : High downforce
Top speed : 301km/h (with Drag Reduction System active on rear wing) – 291km/h without
Full throttle : 55% of the lap (low)
Total fuel needed for race distance : 150 kilos (average/high)
Fuel consumption : 2.11kg per lap (average)
Time spent braking : 14% of lap
Number of brake zones : 11
Brake wear : High
Total time needed for pit stop : 16 seconds
Fuel effect (cost in lap time per 10kg of fuel carried) : 0.35 seconds (high)
Lap record : 1:19.071 (Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F2004, 2004)


With a heatwave in Europe, it could be one of the hottest Grands Prix on record. The forecast is for temperatures around 38-40 degrees, but there are often thunderstorms in the air, which could bring rain, as in 2011.


Pirelli tyre choice for Budapest: Soft (yellow markings) and Medium (white markings). This is the same as last year, but this year the compounds are softer so the pace should be faster.


Safety cars are rare at the Hungaroring. In fact the chances of a safety car are only 10% and there have been only two in the last seven years.


Formula 1 drivers will have an extra DRS overtaking opportunity in Hungary this weekend with the FIA electing to try out a double zone. The activation zone starts 70 metres after the apex of turn 14, which is the final corner on the circuit, therefore activation will be along the main start/finish straight, ending at the braking zone for turn one. The detection zone is just prior to turn 14.

It has been a long 3 week wait for a race. And the next race after this will be almost 4 weeks away. So hopefully the weather is nice and clear so we can have a good race and able to see some performance upgrades from the teams put to the test.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Vettel zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Thursday, July 4, 2013


This article was written by Matt Coch of Pitpass and is re-produced here in full.

In-season testing is set to return next season under a revised set of regulations ratified by the World Motor Sport Council. While many of the new regulations are expected, such as engines having to last five Grands Prix instead of the current four, some are entirely new.


Following much the same lines as road drivers, F1 drivers will receive points on their license for driving offences. It's a system the FIA has been silently running throughout the 2013 season as it looks for a more structured and consistent method of penalising drivers.

For 2014 if drivers accumulate twelve points in a twelve month period he will be forced to sit out a grand prix. A one-point penalty will be handed out for less serious offences, increasing to three points for the most serious.


Teams are currently prohibited from testing during the season though they can perform filming and promotional work up to eight times a year. From next season these will be scrapped and teams will be allowed to test on the Tuesday and Wednesday following four European Grands Prix.

The announcement also sees the scrapping of the three-day Young Driver Test, which this year is held at Silverstone though it has previously been held in Abu Dhabi at the end of the year (this has since been changed due to the multiple tyre failures at Silverstone).

An extension to the in-season testing, and a nod to the sweeping technical changes the sport is set to undergo in 2014, testing will be permitted in January to allow teams more time to come to grips with the new power units.

Wind tunnel and CFD testing has also been reduced in an attempt to reduce costs and encourage teams to share resources (such as wind tunnels).


The complex new engine regulations for 2014, which see the engine become known as a 'power unit', have mandated a revision to penalties of unscheduled changes. If a complete power unit is changed beyond the five permitted during the year the driver will be forced to start the race from the pit lane.

However, if only part of the power unit is replaced ahead of time, such as the turbo or energy store (KERS) a driver will be handed a standard 10-place grid penalty.

Once an engine is homologated, changes will only be permitted in the interests of installation, reliability and cost savings. Manufacturers will also be permitted to supply four teams from next season.

Gearboxes will also be expected to last an extra race, pushing out to six consecutive events rather than the current five.

As expected an aggressive limit was placed on the amount of fuel cars can use during a grand prix.

The fuel restrictions form a key part of the 2014 technical regulation changes as the sport moves to smaller capacity engines with a greater influence on engine efficiency.

Set at just 100kg its use will be monitored via an FIA approved fuel flow meter.


Technical regulations have been written in such a way that the sport will do away with stepped noses for 2014 and beyond, while forcing teams to run with a 'low' nose cone. This regulation has been designed with a view towards increasing driver safety in the event of a T-bone accident.

A standard side-impact crash structure has been developed and must be used by all teams, with a number of crash tests revised to accommodate the new design. This was introduced not only as a means of increased driver safety but also in the interests of cost saving.

Finally, driver safety has further been enhanced with increased crash testing around the drivers head. Where deflection of up to 20mm was allowed, for 2014 just 5mm will be permitted.

A new set of tyres will be given to teams for use in the first 30 minutes of opening practice, designed to encourage early running when the track is usually at its worst.

The pitlane speed limit has been reduced to 80 kph for all circuits with the exception of Monaco, Melbourne and Singapore where it will remain at 60 kph.