Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hungarian GP Preview: Can the Bulls make it 3 times in a row?

It’s been sometime since a driver got kicked out and replaced by another one and this time in Budapest, young Spanish prodigy Jaime Alguersuari will be making his debut for the Toro Rosso team and he will be the youngest driver to race in F1 at the age of 19 years and 125 days, breaking the record held by Mike Thackwell. He replaces Sébastien Bourdais, who has taken his sacking in a bad way and has even threatened to go to courts.

Once again the Budapest the battle should be between Red Bull Racing and Brawn GP, but this race could throw a curve ball as the olds guns like McLaren seem to have found the pace in practice and don’t be too shocked to see Lewis Hamilton back on the podium. But if practice has to be taken into account then Williams should be leading the championship and not Brawn and once again the team is looking very solid in practice but they have shown improvement and the last few races have been good for the team especially Rosberg who continue to impress everyone and another good showing here would up his market value and he is already pursued by both McLaren and BMW.

Among the Red Bull drivers, Webber looks better than Vettel atleast on practice and who comes on top during the race on Sunday will be very tough to predict but expect both the drivers to fight it out till the end but though this is good for the team when it comes to chasing Brawn for the constructors’ title but when it comes to the driver’s championship with Vettel and Webber eating away valuable points, Button with a 20 point lead look set to take the championship without any major worries. His teammate Barrichello seems relaxed now after his outburst after the German GP and he would do his best to come ahead of Button.

Ferrari seem to have been steadily improving and looks like fighting it out with Williams and Toyota for the position of the 3rd best team on the grid but they have not shown anything spectacular in practice and well that has been the case throughout this season but they have done well in race situation especially Massa who would want to prove a point in Hungary as this is one of his worst tracks and he has not finished ahead of 7th place. Kimi needs a miracle as with the Alonso coming to Ferrari rumours getting stronger by every day, he looks to be man who could lose his race seat and he would want to prove his critics wrong buy not only finishing ahead of Massa but putting a strong show.

With Red Bull courting Mercedes for engines and with the Alonso-Ferrari rumours, Renault pulling the plug from its F1 project seems more likely everyday and though there is a possibility of Flavio Briatore buying the team with Renault supplying the engines, clearly its days as one of the big teams is fast running away and the team will be lucky to score points in Hungary. Nelson Piquet will be under immense pressure once again and if word is out that this could be his last race and he could be replaced by the Frenchman Romain Grosjean for the European GP in Valencia.

Toyota should be a worried team as even with a good package, the team has not been able to deliver on the track while Trulli and Glock are good but neither is a champion driver and they are not able to consistently target podium finishes while BMW who is looking desperate just to score some points will be looking for things to turn around in Budapest.

Force India looks stronger every race and with a little bit of luck they could have scored points this season, but once again they go into a race where they do have a realistic chance of scoring points but they do need a flawless strategy and their drivers need to pull off something special while Toro Rosso with all the attention on Alguersuari and his sheer lack of experience in a F1 car will be hoping that things do go well for him and also Buemi who showed soo much promise during the start of the season looks like fizzling out a bit.

It should be a cracked of a race and expect the Red Bull Vs Brawn and Vettel Vs Webber Vs Button battles to continue while Rosberg and Hamilton could just spoil their party.

Hungarian GP Predictions: 1. Webber 2. Vettel 3. Rosberg 4. Hamilton 5. Button 6. Barrichello 7. Räikkönen 8. Kovalainen

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