21 July 2009 – Red Bull are the best team in Formula 1 at this very moment, but if it’s hot on Sunday Brawn GP will win the Hungarian Grand Prix. Although a long way to go in the Championship, the next 2 races in Hungary and the European Grand Prix at Valencia are critical to see if Jenson Button and Brawn GP can hold on to their lead. Both are expected be to relatively warm races and with it more ideal conditions for their car and, specifically, its tyres that really do not perform anywhere near its best in cooler conditions such as was the case at Silverstone and the Nürburgring.
So … this means if they can’t get good results in Hungary and Spain, then they are unlikely to be able to do so for the rest of the season. The Hungaroring circuit is a high downforce track which Brawn GP have proven to be good at, so if it’s hot, I believe they will win.
Ross Brawn, in an interview posted on their team’s web site, stated that, “the last two races at Silverstone and the Nürburgring have been frustrating for the team as we have not been able to achieve the full potential of our car at the same time as our competitors have taken a good step forward.” He continued that their car was still a very good car, “we have a significant aerodynamic upgrade for the race in Budapest which will bring performance gains in efficiency, downforce and aero balance but we face a fierce battle and we must continue to improve for the rest of the season.”
The Hungarian Grand Prix which is normally the dullest race of the season as no one can really overtake there, could end up being the most competitive and exciting race of the season as the conditions and track will mean that several, no let’s say many, teams will have a genuine chance of standing on the podium.
Brawn GP, as I’ve said, are my tip to win if it’s hot (BBC weather forecast is currently predicting a sunny 27⁰). Red Bull, of course, are the favourites and Webber and Vettel are locked in a titantic and increasingly intense battle to not only catch Button, but to take the lead and grab the edge within their own team.
Ferrari will fancy their chances as they have been making steady improvements and produced very good pace in Germany and did very well at the last high downforce race, in Monaco. Massa has been showing good form and I think Raikkonen is about to, as Mr Brundle likes to say so often, ‘pull one out of the bag’.
As much as I feel McLaren have made significant improvements and have a much better car, its race pace is not quite there and the car has been astonishingly poor in its high downforce set up. But, I am not going to rule out Hamilton, particularly in qualifying.
Williams are really doing quite well and I think are going to get on a podium very soon, but I don’t think it will be Hungary, but they will be right up there in the thick of it all.
Qualifying may very well be more exciting than the race … you must not miss it! Q2 is going to be on a knife edge as getting into that top 10 is going to be oh so tough. Q3 will be interesting as the team’s will not know how risky to make their strategy as they will probably want to have a long first stint, but will still want to be at the front of the grid. It’s going to be very interesting! Never thought I would be so enthusiastic about the Hungarian Grand Prix?!
My prediction (if it’s hot):
1st – Jenson Button – Brawn GP
2nd – Felipe Massa – Ferrari
3rd – Mark Webber – Red Bull
Rubens Barrichello and Sebastien Vettel will crash into each other.
Sutil in Force India will finally get some thoroughly deserved points.