Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are preparing for a battle for supremacy heading into the summer break, as the final chapter of the opening saga of Formula 1 in 2017 will be written at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The two drivers are separated by just a single point at the halfway point of the season and whoever comes out on top on Sunday in Budapest, will be able to relax on the beach a little more comfortably as the championship leader.
Heading to the Hungaroring, the momentum is firmly in Hamilton and Mercedes' favour. Had it not been for a headrest in Baku and a gearbox penalty in Austria, the Briton could have very well won all four races since Vettel and Ferrari's last win almost two months ago in Monaco and the Silver Arrow does appear to be edging away from the Prancing Horse in the development race too.
In recent years, however, Hungary hasn't been so kind to Mercedes. Sure the Briton claimed his first win with the team in 2013 and led a 1-2 with Nico Rosberg last year but the two years in between, while they were dominating, Daniel Ricciardo and Vettel walked away with the honours as the weather, tyres and bad luck intervened.
That should offer hope to Ferrari that they can end the recent rot and look to reset over the summer, particularly as the team has been successful on less power sensitive circuits of which Budapest certainly falls under the category of.
But to come out on top they will have to beat Hamilton at one of his most successful tracks with the 32-year-old holding the most wins of anyone with five at the Hungaroring.
Mention less power sensitive and a need for high downforce in the same sentence and Red Bull can not be kept out of the conversation. The team will be under scrutiny with the legality of their front wing being called into question but there's little doubt the progress made since Spain with the RB13 means Max Verstappen and Ricciardo will likely be in the mix.
Both had good races for different reasons at Silverstone as the Dutchman ended a barren spell of results with a fourth place finish and the Australian recovered from the back of the grid to take fifth. Though the pace
Though the pace shown didn't meet expectations at the British track, another significant upgrade package is due for Budapest as the Milton Keynes-based outfit continue their quest for a three-team fight at the front.
Entering the midfield and, in a similar vein to Red Bull, McLaren is the team to watch this weekend. This race has been targeted as one of their best opportunities for points and with the updated Spec 3 Honda engine and the known qualities of the MCL32 chassis, they could well take the battle to Force India, Renault and Haas, who are the other likely main contenders for the top 10.
Hungary is a critical race for all involved at Woking, as Fernando Alonso is likely to start seriously considering his future in the month ahead and a final decision on any change in engine supplier also likely in August.
As mentioned Force India is likely to remain a strong top 10 contender, the outfit has improved tremendously from being one that only thrived on low downforce circuits but interestingly, neither Sergio Perez nor Esteban Ocon has finished as the leading midfield runner since they finished fifth and sixth in Canada.
Haas and Renault have on the other hand with Romain Grosjean sixth in Austria and Nico Hulkenberg matching that result at Silverstone. Both teams are expected to be better suited to the requirements of the Hungaroring too, making it a titanic tussle for those final points.
Two names not mentioned are Williams and Toro Rosso. For the Grove-based team, single lap pace has been a major problem since introducing updates in Austria and, with overtaking difficult, chances of another recovery drive would be reduced should that happen again.
As for the junior Red Bull team, Carlos Sainz is a name you would throw into the hat as a top 10 contender with Daniil Kvyat not far behind, do they have the same potential in the car to match their performance from Monaco, the last circuit bearing any resemblance to Budapest, we'll have to wait and see.
Finally, Sauber will bring their own significant aero upgrade package but it's hard to see it being enough to close on the rest of the midfield with the gap growing ever wider at recent races.
Ericsson says Leclerc not only responsib
Alonso: F1 no longer the show that made
Mercedes warn Liberty of tough fight ove
Stroll: I've 'improved well as a driver'
Ricciardo: Abu Dhabi podium would be 'fi
Hamilton expects to raise game against V
Prost: Reaching F1 without financial sup
Hamilton sees greater Mercedes satisfact
Perez: Alonso's plight with McLaren 'sho
Toro Rosso target Albon named on Formula
F1 weekends could be shortened & 'unattr
Mercedes: Baku loss cost Bottas champion
Raikkonen draws Lotus comparison ahead o
Hamilton forced to clarify 'poor' India
Ferrari expecting 2018 loss to motivate
Ricciardo expecting his bad luck 'to dis
Hamilton could face Abu Dhabi engine pen
Sainz rejects idea Verstappen blocked 20
Haas concede defeat to Renault in race f
Honda hopes to 'accelerate' engine gains
Hamilton praises Formula E project but r
Sauber team up with Charouz to launch yo
Brawn: Simulations producing 'tangible'
Alonso hints at more 2019 announcements
Hamilton would add races in historic F1
Hamilton hoping for more battles with Ve
F1 CEO Carey does see path for new manuf
Red Bull don't 'condone violence' but 'd
Kubica & Ocon set to confirm Williams ro
Hartley frustrated by Gasly ignoring tea
FIA rule out changes to weighbridge rule
Bottas: Regularity of defending from riv
Verstappen 'still not able to manage his
Whiting: Hamilton/Sirotkin incident 'an
Whiting: Ocon 'wrong' to fight Verstappe
Raikkonen believes P3 the best he could
Ricciardo: 'Every time we start out of p
McLaren 'confident' Indy 500 plans won't
Red Bull call for Ocon race ban as Verst
Mercedes reveal Hamilton had 'failure im
Vettel gives Brazil race 'one out of ten
Hamilton tells Verstappen: 'You had more
Hamilton 'proud' of Mercedes as double c
Ocon claims Verstappen 'wanted to punch
Brazil GP: Hamilton inherits victory as
Ricciardo jokes 0.002s loss to Max 'more
Alonso & McLaren confirm Indy 500 return
Hamilton blasts 'disrespectful' Sirotkin
Vettel slams FIA weighbridge process aft
Brazil GP: Hamilton beats Vettel to pole
Brazil GP: Vettel sets new lap record in
Ferrari's Clear to have key Leclerc role
Hamilton says 25-race calendar would dri
'Realistic' Verstappen insists Red Bull
Red Bull reveal a Mexico marshal caused
Vettel expects Ferrari progress in Brazi
Williams offer Kubica 2019 seat but Ferr
Red Bull see race potential even if Braz
Brazil GP: Bottas pips Hamilton by 0.003
Brazil GP: Verstappen leads Vettel & Ham
Tyres and two-tier F1 to dominate driver
Verstappen: Mexico anger post-qualifying
Hamilton doubts Bottas would want F1 win
Alonso: McLaren optimistic 2019 car will
Ocon rejecting non-F1 offers to 'stay cl
Massa: Vettel 'more guilty' for 2018 tit
Hamilton to Leclerc & Gasly: 'No substit
Red Bull: 2019 front wings a costly 'sho
Sainz claims Schumacher name alone won't
Bottas: Hamilton's adaptability is his b
Force India: Signs point to Stroll being
Liberty want to 'preserve' classic F1 ra
Williams still getting over 'enormous sh
Hamilton doubts he would have recovered
Brazil step up security ahead of F1 race
Vietnam confirmed for 2020 F1 calendar
Studious Schumacher 'not as crazy' as Ve
Arrivabene: Ferrari still lack winning '
Ferrari CEO admits F1 budget cap 'makes
Mercedes target tyre woes and Constructo
Force India see catching F1's big three
Sainz has no issue with Renault over sig
Ferrari slam 'fake' Binotto rumours aime
Smedley confirms Williams departure afte
Sauber: Don't compare Leclerc to Hamilto
Two prospective manufacturers rule out F
Magnussen claims current cars leave F1 d
Red Bull: Immediate Gasly comparisons to
Vettel: 2018 Ferrari 'strong' but never
Webber fears Renault a threat to Ricciar
Hamilton: Bottas relationship as teammat
Magnussen: Haas should be 'proud' to be
Tombazis: FIA had to 'intervene' with 20
Zandvoort reportedly offered 2020 Dutch
Vettel wants himself & Leclerc to 'work
Mercedes: 'This is the best Lewis Hamilt
Ricciardo confirms participation in fina
Haas fail in bid to overturn Grosjean's
F1 bosses warn of 'step backwards' with
Hamilton believes Alonso made one crucia