1. Red Bull’s push for harsher Hamilton penalty

Red Bull and Mercedes have been summoned to see the F1 stewards in Hungary via a video conference on Thursday after Red Bull lodged an official right of review of the penalty given to Hamilton at the British GP.

Red Bull was left seething that Hamilton only received a 10-second time penalty, with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner describing the punishment as “menial” given that his driver was taken out of the race in a crash that cost the team £1.3million ($1.8million). 

On Tuesday afternoon the FIA confirmed that Red Bull had formally launched “a petition for review” of the incident at Silverstone within the necessary 14-day window. 

For the stewards to re-examine the collision, Red Bull must present “a significant and relevant new element which was unavailable to the parties seeking the preview at the time of the decision concerned.” 

If the new evidence is not deemed sufficient, the case will be dismissed. However, if the stewards accept the information provided by Red Bull, the investigation can be re-opened.

Red Bull did manage to convince the stewards to reverse their decision to clear Hamilton for failing to slow for yellow flags in qualifying at last year’s Austrian Grand Prix. Hamilton was given a three-place grid drop less than hour before the race start after new 360-degree camera footage from Hamilton’s car came to light.

But history would suggest that Red Bull faces an uphill task to succeed in its attempts to increase Hamilton’s penalty, with the majority of ‘right of review’ cases rarely achieving the desired outcome.

Alfa Romeo successfully managed to achieve a fresh hearing into the 30-second time penalty that Kimi Raikkonen received at Imola earlier this year, but the punishment was not overturned. 

Following the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix, Ferrari saw its attempts to revise the stewards' decision to hand Sebastian Vettel a five-second time penalty for forcing Hamilton off-track rejected. 

Even if Red Bull does not succeed, the matter shows just how aggrieved the team feels and that the gloves have now well and truly come off with the stakes raised even higher in what is already an intense title race. 

2. Hamilton versus Verstappen 

How Hamilton and Verstappen respond to their coming together at the British GP and subsequent fallout from the race will be fascinating to watch unfold.

It is understood that Hamilton has reached out to Verstappen to discuss their Copse clash, while Verstappen insisted he is “not interested in getting involved” in the drama of the fallout.

Although Hamilton remains keen to restore respect, the seven-time world champion also made it clear he is no longer in the mood to back down to his main rival as the 2021 title race hots up. 

Hamilton heads to Hungary - a circuit he has won at more than any other F1 driver - eager to keep the momentum of his British GP triumph and further reduce Verstappen’s championship advantage, which currently stands at just eight points. 

In dry conditions, Red Bull should be strong around the tight and twisty Hungaroring circuit, setting up the prospect of another close battle with Mercedes and potentially Ferrari. 

With more contact between the pair seemingly inevitable as the season goes on, the long run to Turn 1 could be pulsating should Hamilton and Verstappen find themselves sharing the front row on Sunday…

3. Can Ferrari mix it up for the win? 

After Charles Leclerc came within just three laps of claiming a surprise first victory in two years at the British GP, there is great optimism within the Ferrari camp about the team’s progress this year. 

Ferrari proved to be hugely competitive at Monaco and Baku by scoring pole positions at both events, underlining the strengths of its 2021 car at slow-speed venues. 

Dubbed ‘Monaco without the walls’, the Hungaroring’s tight and twisty layout should favour Ferrari’s package, even if both drivers have been quick to play down the Italian outfit's chances of challenging for the win. 

While it does not share all of the same characteristics of Monaco and Baku, Ferrari should be heading to Hungary quietly confident of putting in a competitive showing.

Whether it will be enough to get in and amongst the Mercedes and Red Bull cars remains to be seen.

Ferrari’s main rival, McLaren, heads into the weekend wary of the circuit being one of its bogey tracks which, in theory at least, does not play to the MCL35M’s strengths. 

It could therefore end up being a crucial weekend in the battle for P3 in the constructors’ championship.

4. Can Williams finally end its wait for points? 

A points finish once again managed to evade George Russell and Williams last time out at Silverstone. 

After making it into Q3 for the second successive race, Russell found himself starting eighth for F1’s first-ever sprint qualifying event. However, a clash with Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari on the first lap earned the Briton a three-place grid drop for the British GP. 

That hampered Russell’s chances of claiming his first points for Williams as he struggled to replicate the stunning one-lap pace he has produced regularly on Saturdays this year over the course of a race distance on Sunday. 

Williams has been massively encouraged by its recent performances, having come close to points on more than one occasion across the last string of races. 

But the British squad has ultimately come up short and been left frustrated in its quest to end a two-year barren spell since it last registered a point at the 2019 German Grand Prix. 

Will the team’s luck finally change this weekend? 

5. Mid-season driver market intrigue 

Russell’s starring performances this year have seen him linked with promotion to a Mercedes works’ seat in place of Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes is yet to make a decision over who should partner Hamilton in 2022 but the German marquee is set to switch its focus to its driver dilemma during the summer break which directly follows the Hungarian GP. 

Any decision Mercedes takes is likely to have knock-on effects on the rest of the driver market, with teams such as Williams and Alfa Romeo waiting for an outcome before getting the ball rolling with their own line-ups. 

Should Russell get the Mercedes seat, Williams will need to find at least one new driver for 2022, while Alfa Romeo could be in the market for new drivers with Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi both out of contract at the end of the year. 

Elsewhere, Red Bull still needs to complete its line-ups for the main team and sister squad AlphaTauri. 

Sergio Perez is yet to be offered a new deal to continue as Verstappen’s teammate but Pierre Gasly is likely to remain with Yuki Tsunoda for at least one more year at AlphaTauri. 

Unexpected twists and turns could emerge as the teams look to make progress on the driver front during the four-week break before a relentless second half of the campaign begins.