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2004 Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix
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Reports & Results from the Hungarian GP

Formula 1 Seasons

'14  '13  '12  '11  '10  '09  '08  '07  '06 
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 Track Layout (from the FIA)


Can Alonso do it again this year ?

Last year at the Hungaroring Fernando Alonso won his first ever race lapping Michael Schumacher in the process. This year Renault are even stronger and have won Monaco - a track similar to Hungary - and so expect Alonso to be strong here although he'll have a few others vying for the prize.
The Hungaroring (track layout) is a slow and twisty track requiring maximum downforce. Teams with good mechanical grip, good braking and good traction control do well here. The race is usually run under high temperatures and that can lead to car failures as well as driver errors.
Overtaking is very difficult here and so a good starting position coupled with a good pit strategy will produce a good result.

Since the German Grand Prix there hasn't been any on track activity but off the track there was plenty! With Mark Webber going to Williams, Giancarlo Fisichella going to Renault, Ricardo Zonta replacing Cristiano da Matta from Hungary, Ralf Schumacher not yet recovered and Antonio Pizzonia standing in again and Jenson Button giving his team BAR the flick and opting for Williams in 2005. So while the cars are parked, the silly season has gone into full swing! 

Here is a team by team review:

Ferrari: Given their results so far this season one has to consider them a contender for the win however they didn't do too well on this track last year and Michael Schumacher struggles here compared with other tracks. Still they'll probably go home with good points! 
Reliability 9.5/10 - Speed 9.5/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Michael Schumacher won in Germany after his only serious contender crashed out. So far this season Michael has won every race he finished in and that is 11 out of 12. This may be the first race that he'll finish but won't win. 

Rubens Barrichello struggled at Germany after losing his front wing. Things will be different here as this is one of the few tracks that Barrichello matches and often beats Michael on. If he has a good day he could win it.

Renault: Remain in second place in the Championship but BAR are catching. This will be the race that they'll have to maximise their points and they could have a 1-2 finish if Trulli is motivated enough. 
Reliability 9.0/10 - Speed 9.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Jarno Trulli announced at Germany that he won't be driving for Renault next year and hence his poor form finishing 11th. It is rumoured that he'll go to Toyota or BAR but if keeps performing as poor as he did in Germany he'll end up nowhere!.

Fernando Alonso finished 3rd in Germany and will be hoping for a repeat of his win here last year. If he keeps his cool he can win here.

BAR: Taking their performance in Monaco, they could be contenders here but the drama of Button leaving the team will have a significant impact and that will show. 
Reliability 8.0/10 - Speed 9.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Jenson Button will be driving for a team that he is in dispute with and that will affect his performance however he'll score some points if his car lasts.

Takuma Sato seems to be struggling lately however the drama surrounding Button may give him an incentive to prove that his is a worthy driver afterall. Don't be surprised if he beats Button here.

Williams: Have given up on their revolutionary front nose and are reverting back to a more traditional one. This may help them here but don't expect them to challenge for the win.
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 8.5/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Juan Pablo Montoya finished a disappointing 5th at Hockenheim. He may do better here but a win is unlikely.  

Antonio Pizzonia scored 2 points on his debut for Williams which is better than what Marc Gene could manage. He'll need to impress if he hope to get a drive with another team next year.

McLaren: Continue to make progress and at Hockenheim Kimi Raikkonen was a genuine contender for the win. Reliability is a question mark though. 
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 9.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen had a tough time in Germany when he lost his rear wing while challenging for the lead. Give him a car that has half a chance of winning and he'll do it.

David Coulthard will finish in the points if his car doesn't fail him but don't expect a win unless those ahead hit trouble.

Sauber: Could do well on this track given the noticeable improvements on their car since Silverstone. Mixing with the top 4 teams though will be tough to achieve.  
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 8.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella has signed for Renault for 2005 and might be less motivated to push than he was in the past. Still he'll put on a good performance but points will be difficult.

Felipe Massa didn't impress in Hockenheim and won't be here.

Toyota: Introduced their B version of the car at Hockenheim with no significant improvement. The car wasn't really tested though and may perform better here. 
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 8.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Olivier Panis had a poor race at Hockenheim after a bad start. He's been given a reprieve from the team at least until the end of the season. If the car is better he'll do well but points will be difficult. 

Ricardo Zonta replaces Cristiano da Matta in what is regarded as a test for Zonta. If he does well he could partner Ralf Schumacher next year. Zonta drove for BAR in 2000 and for Jordan for 2 races in 2001 and his results weren't that impressive. Perhaps the experience gained from his testing role will help him.

Jaguar: Finally move ahead of Jordan in the Constructors' Championship thanks to Mark Webber's 6th place finish at Hockenheim. The team is showing signs of improvement and they may be able to mix it with the top 4 teams.   
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 8.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Mark Webber signed for Williams for 2005 and so like Fisichella the pressure is off. He'll still try his best to score points for the team but that will be difficult. 

Christian Klien finished 10th at Hockenheim thanks to an improved Jaguar. He'll need to continue pushing as hard as he can to prove that he is worth holding on to.

Jordan: They are clearly being left behind now and are ever closer to Minardi. Rumours of the team being sold won't help either.  
Reliability 8.0/10 - Speed 7.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Nick Heidfeld wants a better seat but it doesn't look like he'll get one. It is hard to prove yourself in a Jordan.

Giorgio Pantano finished 15th and 3 laps down at Hockenheim. Just shows how poor the performance of the Jordan is. He'll struggle again here.

Minardi: Finished last again but at least they managed to finish both their cars. Expect more of the same.
Reliability 6.5/10 - Speed 6.5/10 

Drivers: Zsolt Baumgartner will race at home for the second time in his Formula 1 career as he raced here last year for Jordan. That will give him an advantage over Bruni but don't expect too much.

Gianmaria Bruni had a good start to the season but his performances weren't so impressive later on. He'll struggle here.

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