Hungarian Grand Prix 2020 – Preview
Following the restart of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship in Austria, the team makes its way across the border for the final leg in the opening triple header at the Hungaroring in Budapest. Once again, the event will be held behind closed doors to ensure the safety of all involved.
Whilst being one of the shorter tracks on the calendar, the Hungaroring’s undulations and lack of straights ensure that it’s key for drivers to find a good rhythm in order to set a quick lap time. Many relish this challenge and it is no surprise that the Hungarian Grand Prix is a popular race on the Formula One calendar.
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Following two weekends in the Austrian countryside, we have relocated 350km east to the historic city of Budapest. The circuit layout and characteristics of the Hungaroring are as different from the Red Bull Ring as the scenery is between Budapest and the Styrian Mountains. The circuit here demands high levels of downforce, excellent ride characteristics and a car balance that offers the driver precision in a range of corner types. Overtaking is difficult and there is consequently a greater emphasis on qualifying performance.
Although Pirelli bring the same compound selection to this event that they made available in both Austrian rounds, the behaviour could be quite different here, especially if the track is very hot.
Last year George enjoyed one of his best qualifying results of the year at this event and it is a circuit that he enjoys and excels at. Nicholas too has a lot of experience here and he understands how the car needs adjusting to suit the particular demands of the Hungaroring.
Back to back races in Austria has allowed us to learn quite quickly about the FW43 and to develop rapid solutions to some of the minor issues we uncovered a fortnight ago. Our job this weekend is to apply that knowledge to a new venue and to continue to push every aspect of the car’s performance.
George Russell: I am really looking forward to Hungary. I think the circuit characteristics will suit our car better than Austria did. We have got a bit of work to do off the back of the race in Austria, as our race pace wasn’t as strong as our qualifying pace, so we need to understand why. Nevertheless, Hungary is a great track, it is one of my favourites and it will be fun to drive around that circuit again.
Nicholas Latifi: I am excited to get back going straight away. Personally, I am a fan of the back-to-back races, especially as I am in a period of learning and the more information that I can take on is just going to accelerate that. Although triple headers can seem quite a lot, for me it’s ideal. Budapest is a track that has never been one of my favourites on the calendar, but I have had some of my better races there in the past, so I’m looking forward to hopefully continuing that trend. The track is tight and twisty with not a lot of room to rest, it is very demanding on both the driver, but also the car. It will be important to get the right balance. This circuit was quite strong for the team last year, so that bodes well.