Less than a week after his back-to-front charge through the field at the German Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton will be hoping for a more straightforward task in this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Despite finishing third after starting from 20th place on the grid, the 29-year-old Briton was still disappointed to allow his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg complete a perfect week by winning on home soil and extending his lead to 14 points in the title race.
Hamilton has four pole positions and four victories so far at the slow and challenging Hungaroring, but a high-speed brakes failure in qualifying undid his best efforts at Hockenheim.
Bruises and soreness notwithstanding, he will hope to return to his best at one of his favourite venues for what promises to be an intriguing contest in very hot conditions.
“I don’t really have any secrets there,” said Hamilton in relation to his past victories in Budapest, according to Fox Sports.
“I’ve just been very fortunate in that race and it’s a circuit I really enjoy. It’s one where you can really attack … so perhaps it suits my driving style a little bit more than some others.”
As Mercedes bid to stay ahead, the revitalised Williams team will arrive in Hungary with a major update package in the hope that they can hunt down Red Bull for second place in the teams’ title race.
Three consecutive podium positions enabled them to overhaul Ferrari last weekend and they are now seeking to cut Red Bull’s 67-points advantage over them and add consistency to the clear speed they have demonstrated.
Williams’ performance boss Rob Smedley said the team’s upgrade was designed to help them at the high-downforce Hungaroring circuit.
“We identified what sort of improvement we would need to make to keep it competitive in Budapest,” he said. “Now we have met all the development targets that we are going to get on the car. It will improve the car and will be very specific for Budapest.”
While Williams and particularly their rising Finnish star Valtteri Bottas are in buoyant mood, Ferrari head towards Hungary and the now-traditional August break in reflective, if not sombre, mood as they continue to struggle to find a way to end their poor form this year.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2014.