What to watch for: Hungarian Grand Prix (7:30am ET on CNBC and Live Extra)


Lewis Hamilton enters today’s Hungarian Grand Prix with his sights firmly set on a perfect weekend, which is something of a rarity in Formula 1.

The defending world champion has finished fastest in every single session so far this weekend at the Hungaroring – FP1, FP2, FP3, Q1, Q2 and Q3 – and has just one more leg to go: the race.

However, Hamilton is also on the cusp of history. A win on Sunday would make him the most successful driver in Hungary, given that he is currently level with Michael Schumacher on four wins in Budapest.

Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg will be doing all that he can to stop the Briton from getting further away in the battle for the drivers’ championship, but damage limitation may be all that he can hope for on Sunday.

Here’s what to watch for in today’s Hungarian Grand Prix.


There is something about the Hungaroring that Lewis Hamilton just gets like no other driver. The Briton is a four-time winner at the circuit, and he probably should have another one or two to his name.

The 0.575 second gap to Rosberg in qualifying was indicative in the gulf between the two drivers this weekend. Barring something out of the ordinary, Hamilton will win today’s race. The question perhaps should be ‘how much?’ – if he can crush Rosberg with a perfect display to cap off a perfect weekend, it would be a huge statement to make before the summer break.


Perhaps the only way Nico Rosberg could feasibly win in Hungary would be via an alternative strategy. It would require a huge slice of luck – a safety car, perhaps – but taking a different approach to Hamilton might be worth a gamble.

Rosberg thinks otherwise. In quite a telling post-qualifying interview with NBCSN, the German said that he would not be doing this, and instead preferred to win by skill, not luck (try telling him that after Monaco).

You have to admire Rosberg for backing himself to outrace Hamilton in Hungary. Very brave indeed.


One year on from his victory at the Hungaroring, Daniel Ricciardo looks set to enjoy his strongest weekend of the 2015 season so far. The Australian driver had a race pace that rivalled the Mercedes drivers in FP2, and he ran well in qualifying to stick his car on the second row of the grid.

A race win may be a little too optimistic for Red Bull, but a first podium of the season remains in reach. Ferrari’s reliability has been particularly poor so far this weekend, and if Ricciardo can get the jump on Sebastian Vettel at the start, he’ll be hard to beat in the race for P3.


The positivity that comes out of McLaren after each race can seem a little feigned at times given the team’s struggles in 2015, but in practice on Friday, it appeared that genuine progress had been made. Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button looked capable of easing into Q2, and may even have been able to edge into Q3.

Qualifying proved to be a very different animal, though. Both cars suffered a technical problem that dumped Button out in Q1 and caused Alonso to stop on track in Q2. The end result? They will start P15 and P16 on the grid today.

That said, the pace of the MP4-30 in Hungary certainly looks like a marked improvement on other races. Points aren’t out of the question yet for McLaren, so keep an eye on its drivers in today’s race.


Following his death at the age of 25 last week, Jules Bianchi remains at the forefront of the F1 paddock’s mind. Before today’s race, a minute’s silence will be held in tribute to the popular Frenchman, and according to veteran F1 reporter Adam Cooper, Bernie Ecclestone has laid on a private jet to bring the Bianchi family to Budapest today.

Let us hope for an entertaining, close and – most importantly – safe Hungarian Grand Prix today.


1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
6. Valtteri Bottas Williams
7. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull
8. Felipe Massa Williams
9. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso
10. Romain Grosjean Lotus
11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India
12. Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso
13. Sergio Perez Force India
14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus
15. Fernando Alonso McLaren
16. Jenson Button McLaren
17. Marcus Ericsson Sauber
18. Felipe Nasr Sauber
19. Roberto Merhi Manor
20. Will Stevens Manor

The Hungarian Grand Prix is live on CNBC and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing

Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.