Questions Ahead Of The Hungarian GP

Date published: July 22 2015

Formula 1 said goodbye to one of its sons on Tuesday and everyone will compete with heavy hearts in Hungary this weekend.

A lot of poignant tributes have been paid to Jules Bianchi and everyone was in agreement that he was not only just a talented driver with the world at his feet, but he was one of the nicest people on the grid.

Ciao Jules, your smiling face will be missed by all! The show will go on in Budapest and as Lewis Hamilton said Bianchi would have wanted everyone to race as hard as he did.

So onto the questions ahead of the Hungarian GP and McLaren are scratching their heads over tokens, Daniil Kvyat finally settles and more.

Will They Or Won’t They Use More Tokens?
Honda used some of their in-season development tokens ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, but it turned into a dreadful weekend with both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button retiring. Given that it was a high-speed circuit, it was perhaps no surprise.

Things have hardly improved for the Woking squad since then as both their drivers failed to see the chequered flag in Austria while Button added another DNF to his name at Silverstone.

These stats don't make pretty reading after you have "improved" your power unit, but the Japanese manufacturer and McLaren have always earmarked the Hungarian Grand Prix as a race for major changes.

"We have a very aggressive plan for Austria, which is a key for us, and Hungary will be another important step," Alonso told Marca at the end of May

It was added that the Hungaroring we will see the "long-awaited evolution of their Honda engine" where "most of the nine tokens will be used".

Although Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai has admitted that "maybe we won’t apply any kind of technology related to the performance side", they desperately need to show McLaren that they have upped their game after the recent disasters.

What better way to go into the summer break than with a good display behind your name?

Have Williams Found The Missing Piece?
The speed of the FW37 off the line at Silverstone was a sight to behold and quite a lot of people went 'what just happened?', but Williams have been pretty impressive for a while now. If you put the strategic calls and colder weather at the British Grand Prix to one side, then you have to say they look like they are now the second best team behind Mercedes.

Valtteri Bottas was P3 in Canada and Felipe Massa replicated that in Austria before Sebastian Vettel ended the run of podiums by sneaking ahead of both Williams cars after the rain came down.

So the momentum is clearly with Williams, but predictions from the Grove squad are pretty cautious ahead of the race in Budapest as it's a low-speed circuit. Remember their struggles at Monaco?

Williams, though, have done a lot of work on their car to counter those problems. The other good news is the fact that it should be another hot weekend in Budapest so they shouldn't be affected by the cooler conditions too much.

Does Kvyat Now Have The Meassure Of Ricciardo?
Daniil Kvyat really looked like he was overwhelmed by the challenge at Red Bull during the first few months. And to be fair to him, his rise to a Red Bull seat was perhaps a bit too rapid. He barely got used to life in Formula 1 with Toro Ross and the next thing he was driving for one of the biggest teams on the grid.

It is fair to say he was blown away by Daniel Ricciardo during the first few races, but the Russian has come into his own, finishing ahead of the Australian in three of the last four races. Both have had their share of bad luck, but Kvyat has now also outqualified Ricciardo 3-1 since the Spanish GP.

While Ricciardo has become very outspoken about his frustrations with engine partner Renault, Kvyat is getting his head down and is seeing the results. Perhaps getting linked with Ferrari has also distracted Ricciardo, but Kvyat's recent displays will be far too close for comfort for the senior man at Red Bull.

Ricciardo, though, is the defending Champion in Budapest and he rates last year's win there as his best so expect him to bounce back.

Will Hamilton Continue Hungaroring Love Affair?
Lewis Hamilton's Hungarian Grand Prix record makes for pretty good reading: Races: 8. Pole positions: 4. Victories: 4. He currently shares the record for most wins at the track with Michael Schumacher, but it is difficult to see him not claiming the outright record this year.

Last year his race was compromised by his car catching fire during qualifying so he started from the back, yet he made his way through the field to finish third behind Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso.

Hamilton heads to Budapest, the final race before the summer, with a 17-point lead over team-mate Nico Rosberg and the German will be wary that last year the Brit really turned the screw after the season resumed as he won six of the final eight races.

Are We Ready For A Summer Of Gossip?
Yes, this is the last race before the summer break and traditionally it means speculation over driver movements will increase. The name of Kimi Raikkonen is on everyone's lips and, if media reports are anything to go by, then Ferrari are close to signing Valtteri Bottas.

But what happens if Raikkonen destroys team-mate Sebastian Vettel in Hungary? Will they change their minds?

Should Bottas be off to Ferrari, then it will have a domino effect as Williams will need to replace the Finn and the name of Jenson Button has been mentioned. That will leave McLaren with a seat to fill.

You get the picture. There's nothing quite like musical chairs in Formula 1.

Shahida Jacobs