Verstappen-Hamilton Drama, Norris’ Charge & Ricciardo’s Redemption: Bold Predictions For Hungarian F1 Grand Prix

Published 07/28/2021, 8:46 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 15, 2021 (L – R) Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel pose during a promotional photoshoot for the unveiling of the new 2022 F1 car REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge


The British GP has unraveled a lot for the current grid. As the drivers touchdown at Budapest to battle it out at the Hungaroring, there is a lot to look forward to. A quick recap of an unforgettable race at Silverstone – the championship battle took a drastic turn, a Ferrari lead the race for 50 laps, the orange cars made it to the top five, Red Bull finished with no points. And with the addition of the debut of the F1 sprint format, the weekend at Great Britain was one for the ages.

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Heading to Hungary, we may have an exciting race on our hands. All the drivers seem as determined as ever to push their machines to perfection; after all, the drivers’ market has also added pressure on the racers to either keep or upgrade their seats. Therefore, the ensuing challenge of the F1 circuit will give us yet another nail-biter of an event.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leads into the first corner at the start of sprint qualifying REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

So, what can we expect from the 70 laps of the Hungaroring?

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Round 11 in the ring for Max and Lewis

The battle to the top had a climactic moment at Silverstone; the F1 community can still feel the shock waves of Verstappen’s opening lap crash. Both drivers and their teams are still dealing with the aftermath of the event, and are even more determined to take the drivers’ championship home.

The two drivers have been seen training with increased vigor. Verstappen did a 24-hour E-sport race to see how his body would cope with sitting in that position for long hours. He said, “I’m happy to get back on track in Hungary this weekend, especially after the last race result. I’m a little bruised of course, but that’s normal after such a big impact but I’m training and feeling good.”

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the race REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Hamilton has been seen running along the streets of London, training hard to overtake Verstappen on the board.

The King of Silverstone has admittedly been the King of the Hungaroring as well; he has savored victory eight times at the GP and knows his way around the track. Additionally, Verstappen is still recovering from the 51G crash.

Will the King reign superior or will the Lion get his redemption? The track saw the two duel last season, and there is a full possibility that it will be more intense this time around.

The battle of the F1 midfield

It’s a war between orange and red for the ‘best of the rest’ tag. Two midfield teams are trying to claw their way out to the top; McLaren and Ferrari showed some spectacular progress in Silverstone.

While Lando Norris lost his P3 during the race because of a pit-stop problem, Daniel Ricciardo pushed himself to P5. The weekend at Silverstone was progressive for the team, as both drivers are confident about the pace of their cars.

Their sterling performance gave both drivers a boost of confidence heading to Hungary. While Lando has his eyes set on the podium, Ricciardo is set on outdoing himself.

This doesn’t fret the Prancing Horses. Seeing Charles Leclerc lead the race was a promising sight for the team. Ferrari have their own set of engine and tire problems, but they somehow pull through. Hungary might not be any different; the circuit physics is like Monaco’s – a race that saw Leclerc on pole after qualifying and Carlos Sainz crossing the checkered flag in second.

The two teams have shown great promise over the course of the season and only 15 points separate the two. Hungary begs the question – will McLaren maintain their lead ahead of the summer break? Will Lando break out of the P3 rut? Will the two Ferraris outshine the McLarens?

George Russell – Will he finally score?

Everyone is waiting to see George Russell finish within points. The driver has pushed his Williams to the extreme in the previous races and only just misses.

At his home race, Russell finally made it to Q3, which was received with shouts of joy from the Silverstone grandstands. However, the race pushed the Williams driver down as he finished 12th. Rusell also battled for P10 with Fernando Alonso at Austria, losing it to the double champion in the last laps.

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Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Williams’ George Russell during the race REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Have the unpleasant experiences strengthened the Brit? Will he finally finish within points?

The competition is at an all-time high. Pierre Gasly is determined to make up for the bad race at Silverstone. Fernando Alonso is on track to make his comeback season one for the books.

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Everyone is at their best, but all eyes will be on the ‘bruised’ Red Bull and the upgraded Mercedes. Will the F1 championship spice up once again?

Watch this story: Mad Max: Verstappen’s Angriest Rants on Team Radio

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Shreya Sanjeev

323 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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