A press conference took place Thursday with a few of the Formula 1 drivers preparing to race the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring in Mogyorod near Budapest. The event is the tenth race in the 2013 Formula 1 calendar comprised of 19 races in all.
At the press conference, the 2007 world champion, Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus and the 2008 world champ, Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes joined drivers Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber), Paul Di Resta (Force India), Valtteri Bottas (Williams), and Pastor Maldonado (Williams) for a Q&A with reporters.
One of the major concerns for the weekend is extreme heat. According to the FIA, both Lewis and Raikkonen commented on what effect they thought the temperature would have on their drives:
Hamilton: “It’s going to be tough this weekend definitely – the conditions will not help. Plus, we haven’t driven the tires as everyone else has. We’ve got a bit of catching up to do, but that’s what we do best and we just have to work as hard as we can this weekend to try to understand the tires and put ourselves in the best position possible. We have a lot of work to do to continue to improve our race pace, but I anticipate it will be a difficult weekend.
I’m sure everyone is going to have to open up their cars, so everyone in in the same boat in terms of car packaging and the heat that the cars are absorbing. Tire-wise, of course there are teams that will deal with it slightly better than us, just naturally, and there are some people that will deal with it the same as us.”
Raikkonen: “I think we’ve always been a bit more happy when it’s more warm. Now it’s a bit difficult to say with the new – or different – tires than we raced at the beginning of the year but last year helped us and the tires should be a mix of this year and last year so let’s hope that it works well for us.”
Rumors continue to circulate about whether or not Raikkonen might join Red Bull, taking the vacancy next year left by Mark Webber who is leaving Formula 1. Knowing he would not divulge what his plans are, if he has any right now, reporters at the conference asked Raikkonen what factors he will use to make his decision.
Raikkonen: “There’s not really one thing. I think there is going to be an overall package and whatever feels right for me. Whatever the decision will be it might feel stupid to somebody else but then it might feel right for me. I have no idea what will happen. We have to wait and see what will come but hopefully whatever it will be, it will be the right choice.”
Both Lewis and Raikkonen have taken podium positions in Hungary more than once before. On Sunday, they will be out to improve their standings in the overall season championship by doing so again. Currently, Raikkonen is in third place with 116 points; Lewis is in fourth with 99.
For Americans who would like to watch the race on television, below is the Hungarian Grand Prix TV schedule, according to NBC:
All times noted are Eastern. Live broadcasts are marked with an *:
Friday, July 26, 2013:
*8:00 – 9:30 a.m.: Practice — NBCSN – LIVE*
Saturday, July 27, 2013:
12:00 midnight – 1:30 a.m.: Practice (rebroadcast) – NBCSN
6:30 – 8:00 a.m.: Practice (rebroadcast) NBCSN
*8:00 – 9:30 a.m.: Qualifying — LIVE – NBCSN – LIVE
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.: Qualifying (rebroadcast) – NBCSN
Sunday, July 28, 2013:
*8:00 – 10:00 a.m.: Grand Prix of Hungary – NBCSN – LIVE
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.: GP of Hungary (rebroadcast) – NBCSN
11:30 p.m. (Sunday) – 1:30 a.m. (Monday): Grand Prix of Hungary (rebroadcast) — NBCSN
Going into the Hungarian Grand Prix, leaders in the 2013 drivers world championship are Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) in first place with 157 points and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) in second with 123. In the constructors championship, Red Bull leads with 250 points followed by Mercedes at 183.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. is the author of several books and is currently working on a book about racers and racing with an Irish historic racer. Feel free to visit her motor sports blog at Motor Sport Muse.