Hungarian Grand Prix Preview
With an average speed of just 120mph, the Hungaroring is the slowest permanent circuit on the Formula One calendar. But that doesn’t lessen the challenge of one of the most tortuous races in the calendar. Track conditions are very dusty and slippery at the start of the weekend, making it very easy for drivers to make a mistake during Friday practice. A racing line appears quickly, once the cars have completed a few laps, but conditions remain treacherous off-line and that makes overtaking difficult during the race. The drivers will tell you that it’s one of the most physical races of the year, due to the constant succession of corners and very few straights, and the high ambient temperatures can result in cockpit temperatures in excess of 60 degrees. At least they have the four-week summer break after the race in which to recover!
Rob Smedley: Hungary is a very high downforce circuit with low efficiency. It’s usually very hot there and with the tyre compounds that Pirelli will be bringing, it’ll be a difficult race. It’s a very important race as it’s the last before the summer break. Psychologically it’s important to get a good haul of points and come away in a strong position. In terms of the track, it’s one where rear tyre graining can be an issue, depending on the modulus of the tyre. In the past, teams have suffered from front graining as well, so it will be a struggle to control both.
Felipe Massa: Hungary is a track where a good power unit is a little less important. Aerodynamics play a higher part and getting good downforce for the corners is vital. We have worked hard to get the car ready for this type of circuit and if that has all worked we should still be competitive. I hope to be able to get lots more points this weekend.
Valtteri Bottas: Budapest is the last race before the summer break. We are aiming for a good result there so we head into the holidays with a good feeling. We know it’s not the best circuit for our car but we are working on getting more grip in the corners and we have some upgrades that should help as well. Qualifying is very important as it’s not an easy track to overtake at; normally the race is hot as well so tyre degradation will be high. A good few practice sessions should help us get the set-up right. There are always a few fans from Finland, it’s almost like a Finnish GP so I hope to pay the fans back with a good result.
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