Things to know ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix

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It is the Hungaroring once again to play host to the last race before the August summer break. The Hungarian Grand Prix first held on 24 March 1986 will be staged for the 34th consecutive time this afternoon. With his record-breaking qualifying lap, Max Verstappen has the best chance in the challenging 70-lap long race.

Fourth – Max Verstappen finally secured his first career pole position. The Dutchman achieved this milestone at his 94th race weekend to become the sport’s fourth youngest pole-sitter. The record-holder is still Sebastian Vettel with his amazing pole position for Toro Rosso in the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. Second on this list is Charles Leclerc with his 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix pole position followed by Fernando Alonso.

Schumacher factor – The fastest ever race lap still belong to Michael Schumacher. The German’s best lap time of 1m19.071 is yet to be beaten, but given the rapid lap times seen during today’s qualifying there is every chance for the top drivers to set a new record in the 34th Hungarian Grand Prix.

King of the ring- Lewis Hamilton still holds the record for most wins in Hungary. The Briton has won six times both for McLaren and Mercedes. Michael Schumacher is the second most successful drivers with four triumphs followed by Ayrton Senna with three victories.

Short – With 4381m, the Hungaroring is one of its shortest track on the current calendar. Fans usually love the short nature of the circuit as during the race they can witness the cars 70 times roaring past the grandstands. The total race distance is 306.630km. Drivers have to adhere to the speed limit of 80km/h in the rather tight and hence slightly dangerous pit lane.

Changes - A domed kerb section 50mm high has been installed 1.5m from the track edge behind the kerb on the exit of Turn 5. New debris fences have been installed on the right between Turns 3-4 and Turn 7. The guardrail has been realigned behind the gravel traps in Turn 4 and Turn 11.

Drag reduction system - There will be two consecutive DRS zones at the Hungaroring sharing a detection point 5m before Turn 14. Activation points are 40m after Turn 14 and 6m after Turn 1.

Not the easiest of days - Williams’ Robert Kubica made his F1 debut here 13 years ago. The Polish driver was drafted into the BMW line-up in place of Jacques Villeneuve. Kubica finished the race in the points, in seventh place, but he was later disqualified as his car was found to be underweight. The driver with 87th F1 starts will start today’s race from the last position.

Milestone - Four drivers have claimed a maiden F1 win at the Hungaroring. Damon Hill took his first victory in 1993, with Williams, Fernando Alonso scored his first win in 2003, with Renault, and Jenson Button scored his maiden victory here in 2006 with Honda. In 2008, it was Heikki Kovalainen who scored his first F1 win following the Felipe Massa’s engine blow-up in the closing stages of the race.

Fuel – In the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix, the driver who need the least amount of fuel used 100.1kg to complete the race distance. The ‘most hungry and thirsty’ car used 103.5kg, meaning that this year’s limit of 110 kg of fuel should be more than enough to complete the race distance of 306.603km without any fuel saving.

Overtaking – The first starting positions have proved vital since 2008. In this period of time, there was no driver to win the race starting from lower then the fourth position while 42 per cent of the races were won from the pole position.

Pirelli - The optimal race strategy for the 70-lap Hungarian Grand Prix should be a one-stopper. The fastest is to go from soft to medium, changing from lap 24-30, but a medium to hard strategy, swapping from laps 30 to 35, is very close and has the advantage of minimising degradation.