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Wolff expecting Red Bull challenge in Hungary

16/07/20

Lewis Hamilton also has history in his sights in Hungary.

The podium at the end of the Styrian Grand Prix had a familiar look as Lewis Hamilton stood on the top step and he will have history in his sights at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hamilton and Mercedes head to the Hungaroring on the back of a one-two led by the defending world champion, who can equal a pair of records belonging to Michael Schumacher this weekend.

Hoping to prevent Mercedes from making it three wins in as many races will be the Red Bulls, who have typically shown impressive pace at the Mogyorod circuit.

Sunday's race begins at 15:10 local time (11:10pm AEST), with Hamilton targeting a third successive win in Hungary that would take him top of the drivers' championship.

LAST TIME OUT

Having had to settle for fourth in the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, Hamilton was dominant at the same Spielberg circuit that hosted the Styrian Grand Prix.

He took pole in a rain-affected qualifying session by 1.2 seconds and was only leapfrogged at the pit stops in a routine win.

While it was a dream weekend for Mercedes, Ferrari endured a nightmare as both Scuderia drivers retired after colliding on the opening lap. They will hope a positive result in Hungary can atone for that.

Max Verstappen was third but Red Bull will surely have left their home circuit disappointed with their points haul of 27 from the two races.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR IN HUNGARY

Qualifying will be crucial at a circuit where there are notoriously few spots for overtaking. However, a pole-to-flag Mercedes victory should not be taken as a given despite Hamilton's recent success in the race.

Indeed, Silver Arrows boss Toto Wolff is expecting a sustained challenge from the Red Bulls at a track suited to their RB16 car.

"I'm 100 per cent convinced they will come very strong in Hungary," said Wolff. "It's a track they have shown historically great performance. We have improved there too in the last few years but it's always a difficult weekend.

"Hot temperatures are still a bit of an Achilles' Heel for us, and as far as I have seen on our weather forecast, it could be up to 30C on Sunday. We need to prepare well, put all the focus on Budapest and hopefully do the best out of it."

TOP FIVE HUNGARIAN GP STATS

Hamilton targeting Schumacher record – Hamilton could make F1® history if he wins the Hungarian Grand Prix; the Englishman would equal Schumacher as the driver with the most wins at a single Grand Prix (currently 7, Schumacher has 8 in the French GP).

A historic pole – Hamilton (6) is one pole position away from equalling Schumacher (7) as the F1® driver to record the most pole positions in Hungary. Only in Australia has Hamilton recorded more poles (8) than at the Hungarian GP.

Rapid Red Bulls – Hungary is the Grand Prix where Red Bull have recorded the fastest lap on the most occasions, doing so seven times – each of those coming in their last eleven races there (set by four different drivers).

Verstappen out for repeat – Verstappen has recorded two pole positions in his career, the first coming in Hungary last year after beating Bottas by just 18 thousandths of a second.

Norris leading McLaren resurgence – Lando Norris' haul of 26 points is the best for a McLaren driver after the opening two races of a season since Hamilton in 2012 (30 points).

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
Drivers
  1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 43
  2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 37
  3. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 26
  4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) –18
  5. Sergio Perez (Racing Point) – 16
Constructors
  1. Mercedes – 80
  2. McLaren – 39
  3. Red Bull – 27
  4. Racing Point – 22
  5. Ferrari – 19