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.
Vettel would have sought Schumacher advi
Raikkonen never considered retirement fr
Verstappen: Singapore proved Red Bull ha
Hamilton keen to test 2019 Mercedes part
Whiting: Three-car F1 teams 'would work'
Max kicks out Alonso/Red Bull claim as S
New Ferrari CEO 'optimistic' of post-202
Ferrari looking post-Vettel with early L
Williams monitoring Stroll-to-Force Indi
Next Honda upgrade could put them ahead
Newey doubtful of Vettel F1 title hopes,
Sauber to decide Raikkonen's 2019 teamma
Two-way fight for Toro Rosso seat alongs
Prost sure Ricciardo investment by Renau
Ocon got Perez apology but team orders a
Mercedes' Wolff calls for blue flag twea
Vettel 'will always defend' Ferrari desp
Hamilton still wary of Ferrari threat af
Singapore GP: Hamilton extends champions
Hamilton: 'Magic' Singapore pole lap cam
Vettel: Ferrari didn't 'put it together'
Singapore GP: Lewis Hamilton storms to p
Singapore GP: Vettel leads Ferrari 1-2 i
Ferrari unimpressed by 'old Champ Car' 2
Vettel confident of making up lost time
Verstappen: Vandoorne never had equal ch
Wehrlein & Mercedes to split at the end
Formula E chief Agag trying to tempt Alo
Ricciardo admits causing Ocon plight as
Singapore GP: Raikkonen sets Practice 2
Singapore GP: Ricciardo leads Red Bull 1
Vettel his own worst enemy as Hamilton p
Vandoorne at a loss over 'strange' McLar
Leclerc doesn't expect to feel extra pre
Gasly: Driver performance should be 'onl
Red Bull not expecting Monaco-style domi
Raikkonen: I'm 'happy with my own reason
First image of concept 2021 F1 car leake
Williams play down concerns over 2019 F1
Ferrari boss apologised to Valtteri Bott
Red Bull boss Horner dismisses 'impracti
Toro Rosso not considering Mick Schumach
Brundle: Raikkonen should have 'moved as
Ocon: My only goal is to be F1 champion
Kubica to weigh up F1 alternatives witho
CEO Brown: Results unlikely to improve w
Mercedes cautious over Singapore GP chan
Ferrari confirm Leclerc alongside Vettel
Confirmed: Leclerc to Ferrari as Kimi re
Ocon would be 'obvious' Toro Rosso optio
Bottas: Failure to win a race in 2018 is
Ferrari swinging back towards Raikkonen
Sainz backs Kvyat amid rumours of 2019 T
2019 McLaren driver Norris concedes Vand
FIA president Todt talks Halo and all-el
Ricciardo desperate to add Singapore win
Haas chief Steiner: Renault only protest
Mercedes boss Wolff responds to Vettel c
Vettel insists he's 'happy' fighting Rai
Kubica concedes F1 comeback effort 'may
Charles Leclerc to Ferrari accidentally
Ecclestone: Hamilton nor Vettel would ac
Alonso hails 'special' first IndyCar tes
Buemi the latest name added to the 'long
Vettel fumes on Raikkonen: I have to rac
Wolff remains 'optimistic' about Ocon as
FIA to address Haas/Ferrari-style 'allia
Hamilton expects F1 would miss Raikkonen
McLaren boss Brown recommends Vandoorne
FIA's Whiting clears Mercedes over use o
Red Bull will leave F1 if Honda fail, Ma
Haas to appeal Grosjean's Italian GP dis
Vandoorne out, Norris in for 2019 at McL
Raikkonen: Mercedes pace meant I couldn'
Bottas: Mercedes strategy was 'good' for
Verstappen furious with stewards after M
Hamilton to Tifosi: Booing 'only a posit
Hamilton & Vettel split over Lap 1 clash
Italian GP: Hamilton passes Raikkonen to
Force India confirm Stroll seat-fitting
Leclerc contract stopping Ferrari from r
Verstappen: 'C-spec' Renault engine 'sti
Magnussen hits back at Alonso: 'He think
Gasly: P9 in Monza qualifying 'a nice su
Perez & Force India accept blame for sho
Stroll surprised by 'straightforward' ru
Hamilton anticipated Ferrari gains in Q3
Alonso: Magnussen incident shows class o
Raikkonen: Monza 'couldn't be a better p
Vettel quiet on Ferrari complaint after
Italian GP: Raikkonen snatches pole, lea
Italian GP: Vettel edges Hamilton in tig
Italian GP: Sebastian Vettel leads as Er
Daniil Kvyat confirmed as possible Toro
German GP to remain in 2019 as Suzuka si
Vandoorne: Australia was McLaren's best
Italian GP: Sergio Perez leads drying Pr
After Red Bull, Alonso claims he also re
Vettel hopes Ferrari revival can save It
Kubica set to be overlooked by Williams