Dominant Formula One leader Max Verstappen hopes to have an even better car in Hungary this weekend as Red Bull chase a record 12th win in a row.
Verstappen, 99 points clear of closest rival and team mate Sergio Perez after 10 of 22 races and cruising towards a third world championship, will be chasing his own seventh successive victory.
Asked after winning this month’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone what he hoped to see improved on the car for Hungary, with performance upgrades coming, Verstappen did not hold back.
“Drag, low speed, medium speed, high speed, DRS effect, tyre wear. All of these areas. That’s what we’re working on. Braking performance. Yeah, I’m not kidding,” replied the 25-year-old Dutch driver.
The circuit is one of the hottest on the calendar, with low average speeds and hard on brakes, but it also has produced upsets in the past.
“There’s always people and things that can stop us,” commented Red Bull boss Christian Horner, whose team at Silverstone two weeks ago equalled McLaren’s 1988 run of 11 successive wins.
“Hungary is a different challenge, much more medium speed, qualifying can be tricky with traffic. It’s going to be stinkingly hot.”
Verstappen won from 10th on the grid last year but Alpine’s Esteban Ocon was the surprise winner in 2021.
Mercedes’ George Russell took the first pole position of his F1 career there last year, and there is also the risk of sudden thunderstorms.
Lewis Hamilton, who has won a record eight times in Hungary, took his first win with Mercedes there 10 years ago while it is nearly 20 years since Fernando Alonso had his first F1 success with Renault at the Hungaroring in 2003.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, whose return with Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri has provided a big talking point going into the weekend, was a winner in Hungary with Red Bull in 2014.
Ricciardo has replaced Nyck de Vries at the tail-enders, a move the Australian sees as a stepping stone back to his former employers.
He will have a job on his hands with what may be the slowest car on the grid but his presence also piles more pressure on Perez.
“I know I have fallen short in qualifying at times this season, so my focus has to be on having a successful Saturday,” said the Mexican. “I know I have the race pace on a Sunday and an incredible car that should be on the podium every weekend.”