Video: Hungarian GP history 1994-2007

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Jenson Button scored his first - and only - career win in Hungary in 2006

Journeyer concludes his two-part guide to the Hungarian Grand Prix. You can read the first installment here.

1997: The Hungaroring’s twisty configuration meant cars with lesser grunt could be competitive at the front. So Damon Hill, who up to now was uncompetitive in the Arrows, suddenly managed to slip past Michael Schumacher for the lead – and stay there! Alas, a late mechanical issue forced him to slow down and get passed by Jacques Villeneuve within sight of the flag.

1998: Just like the year before, we were seeing an unlikely proposition here. The McLarens were dominant, so surely Michael Schumacher can’t win this race? But he proved almost everyone wrong – by jumping to a three-stop strategy, with Ross Brawn uttering those now infamous words “You have 19 laps to get a 25-second lead.” With Michael three seconds faster per lap, the McLarens were unable to respond. Advantage Schumacher – and the win.

2003: Five years later Schumacher couldn’t even get a look in to the battle for the race win. As a matter of fact, he was lapped – the first time he was lapped while running at full speed since 1991! In contrast, Fernando Alonso was dominant in the Renault. Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen had no answer to the Renault star’s pace, and Alonso went on to score his first Grand Prix win.

2006: By this time, Alonso was at the peak of his powers, having won a championship the previous year and now locked in a battle with Schumacher for the title. Alonso had stunning pace at the start, but a crucial pitstop error caused his wheel to go off.

Schumacher’s pace then improved, but he used up his tyres and slipped back down the order. Pole sitter Raikkonen got tangled up in a collision too, putting him out of contention. Enter an ecstatic Jenson Button, who managed to nab his first Grand Prix win. But unlike Alonso this is his only win so far.

Read more about this race: 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix review

2007: As Keith so accurately put it earlier this week, “This was the moment when the fraught relations betwen Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton at McLaren went into meltdown.” And it was one of the most shocking Q3s I’ve ever seen.

From Hamilton’s decision not to let Alonso through, to Alonso holding up Hamilton and forcing him to miss out on a second run, to the FIA dropping Alonso 5 places and disallowing McLaren to score constructors points.

Read more about this race: 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix review – Hamilton edges out Raikkonen

But there were other unusual bits from this race too, most notably Ferrari forgetting to refuel Massa, which meant he missed the cut for Q3, and was nowhere in the race. In contrast, teammate Raikkonen pushed Hamilton all the way to the finish.

So, where do we look for excitement this weekend? Will it be on-track? Will it be off-track? Will it have decided to skip Budapest for Valencia? Let’s hope we see something of interest this weekend.

8 comments on “Video: Hungarian GP history 1994-2007”

  1. I think it will be Ferrari and McLaren at the front again. The McLarens should be able to get pole, but I have my doubts about a front row lock out due to the bumpy nature of the track. I think errors could cost someone dearly.

    Further back, I think that the Red Bulls, Toyotas and BOTH the Renaults could be fighting for places again. I assume Alonso will fuel light and put in a sterling quali as usual but the laps before and after pitstops don’t work for him. They work great for Webber.

    1. Hamilton vs Raikkonen vs Massa
    4. Kovi
    5. Kubica vs Heidfeld
    6. Fernando

    I don’t see how anything dramatic can happen to dislodge the Ferraris and McLarens. I hope I get to eat my words.

  2. I was only a little kid when the 97 race was on and a MASSIVE Damon Hill fan. I think when Jacques passed him i think i even cried! haha

  3. One of the most emotional races ever (’97)….The amazement of Damon qualifying so high in that horrid Arrows, to the squealling of delight as he overtook Schumacher on the first corner, then the low of seeing that blasted car let our man down…. Thrilling….

  4. Keith, final part of 1997 Hungarian GP is here:

  5. 1997 was a gr8 race, luckily saw it on youtube the other day as i was away in Lanzarote whilst it was on and was enjoying the beach rather than the pool bar – gr8 race and pure drama. Murray’s curse struck again, he knew something was gunna happen.

    1998 was one of Michael’s best drives, Hakkinen by no means was going slow and it was just the sheer pace of the german that won – not the Ferrari’s engine.

    Alonso’s win in 2003 was different, i remember that was such a boring race and Alonso wasn’t troubled much, didn’t Michael get 7/8th.

    2006 was a classic and Button’s win was hysterical. If only Michael wud’ve let Heidfeld and Pedro DLR through as those championship points lost for 4th arguably came back to haunt him.

    As for 2007, that was the moment Alonso cracked!

  6. michael counsell
    31st July 2008, 15:11

    There is a myth that Hungarian GPs are generally boring, yet there have been classic events. It may be one of the more difficult track to overtake on but statistically there has been more on track overtakes per race over the last 11 years at the Hungaroring (12.9) than Barcelona (10.0), Monaco (7.5), Magny Cours (12.2), Imola (7.1) or Suzuka (12.5).

  7. That’s interesting data Michael but when I clicked on the link I got a Google login page in a Cyrillic alphabet?

  8. Ah fixed now never mind!

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