The Formula One season continues the run of bizarre races with the latest, last weekend's dramatic German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, producing the unexpected and occasionally the farcical.

Another stunning drive from Lewis Hamilton, from 14th position to eventual race winner, an error from home town boy Sebastian Vettel that ended with his car parked inelegantly in the barriers while having the race safely tucked away in his pocket, a bit of rain, a lot of dry then a bit more rain to cause a lot of chaos and confuse the various strategists with rain tyres, intermediate tyres and dry tyres all on the cars on track at the same time, and to add to all of that, and more, putting the icing on the cake, a doubling of his personal championship points total after a fine and intelligent drive by Brendon Hartley.

On paper this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix should be a totally different race with the outright power of the Ferrari and Mercedes engines mitigated by the tight and twisty nature of the track so would it be too much to expect the Red Bull cars of Daniel Riccardo and Max Verstappen to join the potential race winners?

I hope not.


What does look certain is that the McLaren and Williams teams will certainly not be elbowing their way into the top places. At Hockenheim, as at many other races this year, those teams were at or near the back of the grid and looking as if that was just where they are going to stay for the future. A sad and embarrassing situation for those once great and very proud Formula One organisations

The 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix will be the 33rd race at the track with the first taking place in 1986, and as a reflection on how far Williams and McLaren have fallen one only has to look at their respective histories in the race over that time for a perspective.

McLaren still has more victories at the Hungaroring than any other team with 11 to their name. Williams comes second in that list, together with Ferrari, with seven wins apiece and the next closest, but still distant, teams are Mercedes and Red Bull with two wins each.

This is a common theme at many of the tracks in the season and one wonders again if there is any light at the end of the tunnel for either team given that they are fitted with race proven, and race winning, power units, Mercedes and Renault for Williams and McLaren respectively.

Both teams are in a complete mess, almost a melt down, and each has it's own issues but the main issue common to both of them is the car itself. Ill handling, and slow around the corners with a lack of aerodynamic effectiveness that, when addressed, results in far too much drag on the straights slowing the cars down.

Once you take the corners and the straights out of a race track then there are not a lot of options left for improvement.

McLaren, like Williams, do seem to have the collective engineering brain power to eventually figure things out and they do seem, unlike Williams and despite a lack of income from sponsorship, to have the budget to continue development together with drivers with experience to develop the cars, for the moment at least.

Williams on the other hand have limited funding, possibly set to worsen if the rumours of the main sponsor departing the team are true. The drivers bring an enormous amount of funding to the team but reports this week have it that the vast sack of cash that the family of Lance Stroll donate to the team may well find a new home further up the pit lane at the Force India team.


Perhaps this may be a blessing in disguise as the team, since showing the door to the venerable driver Felipe Massa, also suffers from having two inexperienced drivers, in Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, who do not yet have the race craft needed to continually develop the car.

If the driver situation at Williams does change then that team should be clamouring to sign a driver who has that vast amount of experience, who has a track record of car development, who is both a fast and able 'racer' and can spend huge amounts of time testing the car in both the simulator and on the track, who is currently active in racing and developing a Formula 1 car, who has knowledge of the latest developments in engine and chassis technology and is a world champion driver no less.

Someone who will not ask for a $40 million a year salary.

In fact, as Formula 1 now takes a few weeks off for it's summer holidays, more than just one team in the pit lane should be desperately seeking to get Brendon Hartley's assistance and his autograph on a contract.