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Since Hungary made its debut on the F1 calendar in 1987, the polesitter has gone on to win the race 16 times, providing an indication of how crucial it is to start on the front row.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton arrives at the Hungaroring with three victories in the last three years, but judging by Red Bull’s form in recent races, Max Verstappen is the favourite for a sixth win of 2021.
However, it’s too hard to make predictions at the moment, especially with Valtteri Bottas leading a 1-2 for Mercedes in second practice on Friday.
And both drivers, plus trackside chief Andrew Shovlin, reckon they still have plenty of work to do. “We got off to a fairly difficult start on the hard tyre this morning as the grip and balance just weren’t there,” he said.
“As the day went on we seemed to improve in terms of the timesheets, although we’re still finding the balance quite tricky. It may be that it’s the same for everyone, the track is at 60C after all and the tyres are getting really hot which is making the long runs quite difficult.
“Overall, it is encouraging to see both cars at the top of the timesheets but with a risk of rain it may be a very difficult challenge tomorrow so we cannot take anything for granted.”