Hungary preview quotes - Cosworth, Virgin, Ferrari, Force India & more 29 Jul 2010
Hot on the heels of Hockenheim, the teams head straight to Budapest for this weekends Hungarian Grand Prix, the last race before the Formula One community takes a well-earned summer break. Drivers and senior team personnel discuss their prospects for the Hungaroring
Cosworth, engine suppliers to Williams, Lotus, Virgin & HRT
The low speed, tight and twisty nature of the Hungaroring circuit renders its severity on the engine similar in ways to Monaco. The track is comprised of 14 mainly low to medium-speed corners with the start-finish straight just 700m long. Engines are only run at full throttle for around 55 percent of the lap, the second lowest percentage of the season after Monaco, but that does not mean that engine performance does not play a key role in securing a competitive lap time.
Drivers need good traction and good torque from the engine unit when exiting the lower speed corners in order to find a good rhythm when negotiating the next turn. A responsive engine is especially important exiting turn 14 to get a good run down the main straight heading to Turn One, arguably the only overtaking opportunity around the short lap.
Because the majority of corners are slow speed, the engine needs good driveability at high revs and drivers need to be smooth on the throttle to avoid excessive strain on the unit. Cooling is often a problem at Hungary because of the lack of straights and the usual hot climate in Hungary at this time of the year. The engine gets very little in the way of breathing space around the lap, enhancing the risks of overheating over 70 laps.
Timo Glock, Virgin
2009 Qualifying - 13th, 2009 Race - 6th
The Hungaroring is a nice mix of slow-speed and high-speed turns and has a good rhythm. Its non-stop and we seem to be gripping the steering wheel the whole of the lap with no easing up on the hands. Its a great track and one I enjoy. I also scored my first podium here in 2008. As the weekend goes on the track tends to improve quite a lot as more rubber goes down and this means the lap time can be quite different from the start of the weekend to the end. This can make it difficult to evaluate set-up changes. Budapest is a fantastic city and there is a great atmosphere during the weekend - its definitely one of the best venues on the calendar. Im looking forward to the race. We took another step forward in terms of performance last weekend but we have to make sure the run up to the race is smoother so we can maximise every possibility.
Lucas di Grassi, Virgin
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
As usual I have done a lot of work in the simulator to prepare for the Hungaroring. Its a pretty physical track which I know well from racing in GP2 here but its good fun to drive. It is usually pretty hot here but the weather is looking a bit changeable this week, which is unusual for Budapest. In the German GP I was running second only to Kovalainen until a suspension problem forced me to retire. But the underlying positive is that the car is performing well and our pace is good, so I think I can be optimistic for a good race here this weekend and hopefully finish ahead of Lotus.
John Booth, Virgin team principal
Its been another tight turnaround as we packed up the garage and trucks and headed east to Hungary in the space of just two days. What we are hoping for now is a strong performance at the Hungaroring as a just reward for the incredible hard work that has gone into our debut season so far by everyone in the team.
Nick Wirth, Virgin technical director
Hungary is a track where we expect to continue our strong recent progress. We're determined to avoid the type of problems that stopped us qualifying well in Hockenheim, and the nature of the circuit should enable us to have a strong showing compared to our new-team rivals. Our development geeks have come up with yet more upgrades for this track and I know that both drivers and their crews are very motivated right now, so we look forward to another weekend of solid progress."
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
2009 Qualifying - 1st, 2009 Race - DNF
We knew full before Hockenheim that our car was much more competitive and that was what made me so confident. Now we must continue in this direction, starting this coming weekend in Budapest. The Hungaroring is a special circuit for me. It was here in 2003 that I scored my first Formula 1 win and I was on pole here last year. Returning to that 24th August seven years ago, I dont remember much about the events of the day, because it was so emotional I had the impression that everything happened incredibly quickly: it would be nice to relive that experience this weekend at the wheel of a Ferrari.
The track can almost be described as a go-kart track for Formula 1 cars. The corners follow on, one from the other, so there is nowhere for a driver to pause for breath and it is vital to have a car that deals with the many bumps in the track surface and handles riding the kerbs. From the physical and mental point of view it is a pretty demanding race, so it is important not to get impetuous and overcook things, because any mistake is heavily penalised, especially in qualifying. Its best to stay focussed and concentrate on your own work, trying to put together the perfect weekend, one step at a time. That is what we plan to do, starting on Thursday. I have already said it many times before: there is still a long way to go in the championship.
Felipe Massa, Ferrari
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
Going back to Budapest will be a very special weekend for me, for reasons which you can all appreciate as it was there, just over a year ago, that I was seriously injured when a spring from another car hit me on the head during Q2 on Saturday afternoon. My first meeting when I arrive at the Hungaroring circuit will be with all the marshals and medical staff who did such a very good job of carefully getting me out of the cockpit. I want to thank these people, with whom I now feel a special bond. I had to stay in hospital for a week after the accident and I got to know the staff, who all treated me so well and one unusual result of the whole unfortunate episode is that I know I now have a lot more fans in Hungary. Quite often this year, at press conferences at the track, journalists ask me if I feel I am back to normal and if I am driving as well as before and my answer is always the same: yes, in terms of my work, absolutely nothing has changed. But as a person, the accident did change me: it made me value life much more than before and I appreciate the ordinary things in life ten times more and it has put life and my health in perspective, not taking anything for granted and not just for me, but also for life in general and what it means to everyone. I know what it means now and I feel I am much more mature as a human being. However, on the professional front, nothing has changed, because once you shut the visor and go out on the race track, you just do everything as before, without thinking of the accident.
In Germany, we produced a great team result and if people were asking why Ferrari kept saying for several weeks before that the F10 had improved a lot, they got the answer in Hockenheim. But that does not mean we are sitting on our hands, because there will be even more updates coming this weekend and the result last weekend is motivation for everyone in the team to keep pushing even harder to keep the momentum going, improving race by race. There are other reasons to be optimistic about this weekend, including the fact that Bridgestone is bringing its Super-Soft and Medium tyres that have always suited the F10 very well, so maybe we can have another very competitive race. Throughout the year, we have seen that various teams performance has been very much related to the track characteristics, with the exception of Red Bull, who have been competitive everywhere. So lets wait and see how we go at the Hungaroring. Personally, I have never had a good result at this circuit, but that has simply been down to circumstances, as I do enjoying driving here a lot and, in 2008 for example, the last time I actually raced here, I led for sixty laps until my engine failed. So all in all, there are many reasons why I am really looking forward to going back to Budapest in a couple of days time.
Mark Webber, Red Bull
2009 Qualifying - 3rd, 2009 Race - 3rd
"The RB6 was pretty solid at Monaco earlier this year, so theres every reason to think that it will be competitive in Hungary this weekend. The Hungaroring might lack the glamour of Monaco, but there are many technical similarities between the two tracks, such as theyre twisty, bumpy and dirty off-line. Such is the rate of development in F1 that the cars have changed quite a lot since Monaco. Weve put a lot of upgrades on the RB6, so I hope to fight for my fourth win of the season on Sunday.
"I expect Ferrari, and to a lesser extent McLaren, to be our closest challengers. The red cars deserved their one-two in Germany last weekend because they had the quickest car and I dont see that performance as a one-off. And dont forget that Alonso was very fast in Monaco, until he crashed in Saturday morning practice and damaged his chassis. Hes also very quick around the Hungaroring; he won his first race at the track in 2003 and he was on pole there last year.
"The Hungaroring isnt used much during the year, so its going to be very slippery off-line. That makes the dirty side of the grid even more of a disadvantage than normal, so the easiest thing will be to qualify on pole position and disappear into the distance in the race! If you can get out front, youre looking pretty good because its very difficult to overtake here. Theres only one realistic overtaking place, into Turn One, and youre heavily reliant on the person in front making a mistake through the previous corner to make a move stick.
"It would certainly be good to go into the summer break on the back of a good result, and, not only that, it would be a good way to mark my 150th race in Formula One. Im not a great one for statistics, but thats quite a milestone - particularly when Melbourne 2002 seems just like yesterday! Time flies. Lets hope I can celebrate on the podium on Sunday."
Adrian Sutil, Force India
2009 Qualifying - 17th, 2009 Race - DNF
Hockenheim obviously wasn't the best race weekend for us, unfortunately. But now we can look forward to the next race in Hungary. Budapest is a great city, it's beautiful there, and always nice and warm. I'm looking forward to it after a cold weekend in Germany! The Hungaroring is actually a difficult track, with a lot of corners that require focus as one leads into the next without any recovery time. I like driving there, even though the average speed is quite low. Qualifying is very important, and despite our recent form in this area, I'm always confident I can make it into the top 10. We'll also try new parts, including a new blown diffuser on the Friday. In the past I've never had much luck in Hungary, but this is a new year for me, year number zero, with a competitive car, a strong position in the championship and everything to push for.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
Hungary is now coming very soon and although we know it could be a tough weekend for us because of the strength of the competition now, we still have a chance to fight for points because we're always there when everything goes right. And it's like a big Monaco in that the circuit is very twisty and there's not much room for overtaking, and at Monaco we were quite strong. I quite like the track and I've been pretty fast in the past. It's all about the rhythm, akin to a kart circuit, so I like it! It's one of the old school circuits with a nice atmosphere and a beautiful city, and it's always good to be there. I believe we have a chance to score points, but the others won't make it easy.
Paul di Resta, Force India test and reserve driver
In Hungary I'll be getting back to my normal Friday duties, driving in FP1 when I replace Tonio. Of course, after sitting out Hockenheim, I'm looking forward to getting back out there. The Hungaroring will be another new track for me so I've been doing my homework, going in the simulator, looking through last year's data and talking with the engineers to be as prepared as I can. It looks like it's quite a tight track and the cars don't get going as much as at other tracks such as Silverstone or Melbourne, but I've always enjoyed watching the races there so hopefully it will be good to drive. The year is really flying by now and we're now well over half way. I feel so much more comfortable in the car and at the moment it's even more exciting to be part of the programme as the team is now under pressure to move forward and do the best job it possibly can.
Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India chairman and team principal
Germany was very disappointing for the team but I see it as a blip rather than anything more significant. Fortunately it was only the second time this year we have missed out on the points and - more importantly - we did not lose any ground to our main rivals so we got off lightly, all things considered. However this clearly cannot happen again as the race for fifth and sixth in the championship is closer than ever now and we need to finish with at least one car in the points at each race from now on. We can however be confident that we have enough strength in current performance and the new developments coming. On Friday we will test the blown diffuser, which we believe will give us a big step forward. We will analyse the findings and any data will be fed back into the programme for the second half of the year. Similarly, we have some new developments on the front of the floor. This year we have a much more balanced car over all types of tracks and, while we would look forward to Spa and Monza as high speed tracks that should suit us better, I think we will hold our own in Hungary.
Sakon Yamamoto, HRT
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
I cant wait to go back to the Hungaroring as I know the circuit already very well from my Formula One races with Super Aguri, Spyker F1 and with ART in GP2 series. The races there are always very tough because there is no big gap between the corners. You need a good braking stability and good traction on the car. I keep on pushing for another challenge and I hope that we are luckier than in Hockenheim.
Bruno Senna, HRT
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
I am looking forward to Hungary, because the ambiance is always good and the crowd enjoys the show a lot. I have raced twice at the Hungaroring with GP2 series and I had two podium finishes in 2008. It is a very high downforce circuit and it has long-radius bumpy corners, which put a lot of demand on car and driver. It is going to be a challenging weekend for us as it is a very tough track on both the cars and the drivers, but we hope to do better than expected and maybe surprise some people.
Dr Colin Kolles, HRT team principal
The race in Hungary is going to be one of the toughest races of the season. The high temperatures and the tight and twisty surface stretch both the cars and the drivers to their limit. As overtaking is almost impossible, the performance with a low fuel level in qualifying is very important. In Hungary, you need a car with mechanical grip and a torquey engine and drivers who can sustain the physical demands. We hope to finish the race again with both cars and to achieve a good result before the summer break.
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP
2009 Qualifying - 5th, 2009 Race - 4th
"Budapest is a great city and the atmosphere there and at the track over the race weekend is very vibrant so I always enjoy visiting. The Hungaroring is one of those tracks that provides a real technical challenge and it is good fun to drive. Overtaking is difficult there so qualifying is really important and you need to start from as high up the grid as possible. Qualifying hasn't been our strong point recently so we will be working hard on our preparations over the weekend to give us the best chance in the race. I had a strong weekend in Hungary last year, finishing in fourth place, and it would be nice to be competing towards the front again this time around."
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
"The German Grand Prix last weekend was clearly disappointing for us but we have seen a variety of performances from our team over the past few races. With this in mind, I will still go to Hungary with a positive feeling. It is clear that we need to understand our car better, and the track in Budapest plus more time to evaluate our upgrades should help us in that respect. As I said after the last race, we have to remain calm, look into all the details and analyse our performance in order to learn as much as possible from such weekends. That is the way we have to go in order to improve our situation which may already be possible this coming weekend in Hungary."
Ross Brawn, Mercedes GP team principal
"The Hungarian Grand Prix will be the conclusion to an extremely busy period for the team following two of our home races taking place this month at Silverstone and Hockenheim. The last race weekend in Germany was challenging for us, particularly following the podium finish at Silverstone, and we were disappointed not to be competing further up the field. The team is doing a good job operationally but we need to find more pace from the car and we continue to work very hard to achieve this. Hungary is a technically demanding circuit and should be a good proving ground for our latest upgrades, providing further invaluable track testing time, as we work to find the optimum set-up. Our two-week factory shutdown just after the race will be a well-deserved rest for our employees and the chance to recharge their batteries before the busy final third of the season."
Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"The Hungaroring circuit near Budapest is very different to that of the last race in Germany with a slow and twisty layout requiring maximum downforce. One weekend after the home race of Mercedes-Benz, our team wants to achieve a better result than we managed at the Hockenheimring."
Robert Kubica, Renault
2009 Qualifying - 18th, 2009 Race - 13th
I'm really looking forward to the weekend and we usually see a lot of Polish fans coming to Budapest, so it's a sort of home Grand Prix for me and for the Polish fans. I am expecting a lot of people to come, and a good atmosphere from the crowd, so we are hoping that we can put in a good performance for them. It's a very difficult track to set the car up for because there are long corners where you need to have very good front grip, but on the other hand you need good rear stability. It's also difficult for set-up because of the bumps and because there are lots of different kinds of corner, so you have to somehow concentrate on all areas of the set-up and car balance. And it's very demanding physically and mentally because there are so many corners and there's only really one straight, and even that is not so long. You don't really have time to get back your energy and relax, so you are always concentrating. I think it will be a more suitable track for our car and I hope we can be closer to the front than we were in Germany. But I honestly don't think we can hope to repeat the kind of pace we showed in Monaco earlier this season.
Vitaly Petrov, Renault
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
It's a circuit that I know quite well and I have a lot of experience there racing in GP2. But this will be my first time there in Formula One so there is still a lot for me to learn. I like the circuit and it's quite a tricky track where you need to find a good rhythm and know the secret to going well there. I need to work on improving my qualifying performance to make sure I start the race in a good position. If I can do this, I think I can have a strong race because in Germany the pace of the car was good. In fact, Germany was nearly a mistake-free weekend, except for qualifying. Robert has shown what the car can do in qualifying, so I know this is where I can improve. I will work hard to put all the pieces together across the weekend and my target is to finish in the top ten and score some more points.
Jenson Button, McLaren
2009 Qualifying - 8th, 2009 Race - 7th
I won my first Grand Prix in Hungary - and I can still remember that race as if it was yesterday. Actually, what I remember best were the moments after the race, when you finally realise that its all real, and you get to see the reactions of everyone around you. It was a great moment in my career, and one that I still savour. As for the circuit itself, its a good track - its a place where you need to drive with a lot of control if youre going to get a good lap time. Some of the kerbs are quite high, so you need a bit of precision through the high-speed stuff. Fortunately, its a high-downforce track, so theres usually plenty of grip - or, at least, there is by Sunday, because its always really dusty at the start of the weekend. After Hockenheim, I think we go to Budapest feeling more optimistic about our pace - the team has traditionally gone well at the track, and we feel we have a high-downforce configuration that should be well-suited to the circuit. Were learning more and more about the blown floor after every session, and I feel like we got some very useful data from Sundays race in Germany. Now its all about maximising our package and hopefully securing a strong result before the summer break - that would be a massive positive for everybody on the team.
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren
2009 Qualifying - 4th, 2009 Race - 1st
I love racing in Hungary. Budapest is a fantastic, beautiful city that Id love to get out and really explore one day, and the circuit is quite a unique place - its got a reputation for being a slow track where its impossible to pass, but I dont really agree with that. Firstly, the track has a couple of high-speed corners - in particular, the blind left-hander at Turn Four, and the right-hander at Turn 11 - and, since the revisions to the first corner, its a place where passing is definitely possible, even if its not easy. Its a circuit that really requires you to pull it all together like Monaco, theres nowhere to relax, and, because one corner always leads straight into the next, youre really hustling the car the whole way. Which, when youve got a good car, is good fun. Ive always gone well there - I won in 2007, and winning there last year was one of the best races of my career in terms of sheer satisfaction. The whole team was elated with that result because wed just performed one of the greatest turnarounds in sport, coming from the back of the grid at the start of the season to take victory.
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
Historically, the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team has always gone well at the Hungaroring. Lewis won the race in 2007, and again in 09 - a memorable race because it marked the first-ever victory for a KERS-powered car in Formula One. Of course, we also remember the good memories of Heikkis victory in 2008, and we go into this years race hopeful of another strong performance. While were under no illusions that our pace relative to our rivals was lacking at Hockenheim, the MP4-25 should perform better in a more dedicated high-downforce configuration. More encouragingly, weve now got one race with the blown diffuser under our belts, and this has already given us lots of data with which to take the concept forwards. Finally, this will be the 12th race of the season and the final round before everybody in the team earns a well-deserved summer break. We have all worked incredibly hard to cement our positions at the top of both world championships not least in the past four weeks, when weve seen unbelievable dedication and commitment as weve strived to update MP4-25. For all of us in Woking, it would be fantastic to go into that summer break with a strong result to ensure we maintain our motivation and commitment as we enter the crucial final third of the season.
Rubens Barrichello, Williams
2009 Qualifying - 12th, 2009 Race - 10th
I like the Hungaroring and I have won there in the past. Of course the most critical issue is that you have to qualify well to have a good race. The circuit requires a very different set-up and the track surface is pretty bumpy. We'll be looking to carry our present momentum on to Hungary. It is not as if we had a bad race last weekend - it is just that the rhythm and pace of everyone is pretty similar, but we ended up in a bad position on the track after the start. I am confident the speed is still with us, we will just need to work hard in Budapest to make sure we are at the front of the pack we are in.
Nico Hulkenberg, Williams
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
We have seen that we are pretty competitive in qualifying amongst the group of teams we are fighting against - Renault, Mercedes and Sauber. Hungary puts a major emphasis on qualifying well, so I hope we can do a good job on Saturday and get ahead of this group as it will set us up well for the race on Sunday. I won at the Hungaroring last year in GP2, so its somewhere I am comfortable to race even if the character of the race is defined by the amount of corners and the high temperatures, which makes it a pretty physical test. I feel very positive looking forward to the weekend ahead.
Sam Michael, Williams technical director
The slow, traction-limiting corners of Budapest should suit the FW32 so we're going there expecting a decent performance. We obviously have to make some improvements to our starts set-up, so we've been busy analysing and working on that since Germany. During Fridays practice sessions, we will also be testing some new aero parts which we were unable to test in Germany because of the bad weather.
Pedro de la Rosa, BMW Sauber
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
"Budapest is one of my favourites because I achieved my first and - so far - only podium there. This was back in 2006 when I finished second. The city is extremely interesting and offers a lot. The architecture of the bridges, houses and castles is just beautiful. When I was a test driver I used to go running along the river on Saturdays after qualifying. You can feel the history, but at the same time the city is very much alive. In a way it reminds me of Spain. I like to describe the track as the permanent version of the Monaco street circuit. You need maximum downforce and a good car in slow corners, while efficiency is less important. It is a nice track but it is very hard on the drivers, especially when it is hot, which has quite often been the case at the race weekends. Perhaps it is not the best track for our car, but we have improved it a lot for slow corners and we have also proved if we finish races we can fight for points."
Kamui Kobayashi, BMW Sauber
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
"I have good memories of the Hungaroring. Despite not achieving the best results there, I like racing on this circuit a lot. I find it nice and exciting, and I certainly enjoy the city, especially the restaurants on the side of the river. Also the circuit has a good tradition and a nice atmosphere. It is very narrow and windy, which might be tough for us this year. Overtaking is very difficult on that track, and therefore our chances on the Hungaroring depend a lot on if and how much we can improve our qualifying performance."
James Key, BMW Sauber technical director
"If we look at the last four races Hungary is a different type of circuit again. We've had Montreal with reasonably long straights and slow speed corners in Valencia, high speed corners in Silverstone, a mix in Hockenheim and mainly low and medium speed corners in Hungary. It's a fairly winding circuit which requires a high downforce level. You can get away with a slightly less aerodynamical efficient car there as well. It also requires a good mechanical grip, while there are some kerbs and some high and medium speed chicanes where the car needs to be stable. The track is also quite bumpy. The last corner is quite tricky, as is turn one the downhill right hander where you've got to get that right not to lock up your inside wheel. In qualifying you also have to look after your tyres for the end of the lap, because graining can be a problem. There are two other things to consider: It's normally very hot so you have to watch cooling levels and how that affects the tyres, secondly it's a place where overtaking is very difficult so qualifying is very important."
Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus
2009 Qualifying - 6th, 2009 Race - 5th
Ive got great memories of Hungary. Its where I scored my first victory, which is obviously the highlight of my career so far, so Im always looking forward to going there, particularly as theres very strong Finnish support out around the track - its almost like a home race for me. This year the challenge is obviously different, but weve made good progress at every race so far, and were well prepared for Hungary so theres no reason why we cant take another step forward this weekend. The track itself is obviously hard to pass on, but its satisfying to find a setup that allows you to get the most out of the car as the track evolves, and then nail it in qualifying - as a driver thats a good feeling. In the race, its easy to get stuck behind someone, because of the nature of the track, so pit stops become even more critical. With that in mind its good to see how everyone in the team, the pit crew, the engineers and everyone in the garage can make a real difference to your race performance, even more than normal. As a driver thats also very satisfying as it shows how important everyone in the garage is, so hopefully well be able to put that into practice this weekend.
Jarno Trulli, Lotus
2009 Qualifying - 11th, 2009 Race - 8th
Itll be good to get back in the car straight away after a frustrating end to the German Grand Prix. After what had been a really strong weekend, it was obviously not the way we wanted the race to go, so hopefully Hungary will be better luck for us! The Hungaroring is a very twisty track, bumpy and hard to pass on, and not one you can get a great rhythm on. Well be running the full downforce package, and as its normally very tough - hot and very long, its a real physical challenge. But Im feeling good, and we keep progressing, so Im looking forward to the weekend.
Riad Asmat, Lotus Racing CEO
After the Hockenheim result were looking forward to next weekend in Hungary. Well pick ourselves up and do what we do best - work hard, focus on the positives and make sure we keep pushing towards the teams ahead. Funnily enough, what happened in Germany actually brings out the best in our team - the passion, the camaraderie and the spirit within everyone in the team, at the factory and at the races - were all determined to keep looking ahead and not let setbacks hold us back, and Hungary gives us another chance to take a step forward, and thats what well do.
Mike Gascoyne, Lotus chief technical officer
After a disappointing end to the Hockenheim Grand Prix were looking forward to Hungary. Always an interesting race, its obviously very difficult to pass and the tight, twisty layout should suit the characteristics of the T127 very well. Traditionally its very hot and dusty early on with lots of track evolution. Were still in tenth place as the best of the new teams, and this should be a circuit that suits us, so we need to maintain our strong qualifying form, maintain our reliability and look for a two car finish.
Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso
2009 Qualifying - 11th, 2009 Race - 16th
It is an unusual and very tight circuit which is a bit like Monaco, except not in a town, as you run with a lot of downforce. Maximum speed is not so important as you want the downforce for the corners. There is a real buzz at the track, as there is always a big crowd and we like that. On top of that, the city of Budapest is fantastic. I really enjoy driving here even if the track surface is very bumpy, which makes it tough physically. Its a fun race though, as we only encounter this type of circuit once a year, although for actual racing it can be a bit difficult because with no long straight and constant left, right, left, right series of corners there are no opportunities for slipstreaming another car to get past it.
Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso
2009 Qualifying - 20th, 2009 Race - 15th
Last years Hungarian GP was my debut in Formula One and what I remember best is actually finishing the race, because it was the toughest thing I had done. It was good fun in a way, because I did not care about the lap times or my position, I was just driving the car. It was a great weekend and I had not expected to finish the race, as physically the Hungaroring is a very demanding track with no straights and lots of corners so there is no time to catch your breath and a year ago I was not at the right level of fitness required to be a Grand Prix driver. I am looking forward to going back there this time as, I was so inexperienced last year that it will be really interesting to see the track again with one year of racing in F1 under my belt.
Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone director of motorsport tyre development
"The Hungaroring is a challenging circuit even though it is one of the shortest on the calendar. We expect to hear a lot of discussion about the track surface at the beginning of the weekend, as the circuit is not used as much as some, so the surface is quite dirty for the first sessions. We can expect to see some graining on Friday because of this. The ambient and track temperatures are often very hot here, but as the surface is quite smooth and there are no very high lateral forces we don't expect overheating to be too much of an issue if the tyres are managed well. Finding the maximum traction through the last corner is very important as it enables a good top speed on the short straight, leading into the first corner, where there is the main overtaking opportunity on the circuit. This is a track where Bridgestone came very close to winning a race in our first season in the sport, so we hope we see a good race in our final visit here."
More to follow