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Hungary preview quotes - Force India, Ferrari, Mercedes & more 24 Jul 2013

Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 13 April 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Preparations, Shanghai, China, Thursday, 11 April 2013 Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Force India Formula One Team Owner.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Qualifying, Saturday, 27 October 2012 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 15 March 2013 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Toto Wolff (AUT) Merceds AMG F1 Executive Director.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 2 March 2013 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 15 March 2013 Xevi Pujolar (ESP) Williams Chief Race Engineer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Remi Taffin (FRA), head of Renault Sport F1 track operations in the Press Conference
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday, 2 November 2012 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Tom McCullough (GBR) Sauber Head of Track Engineering.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 22 February 2013 Giedo van der Garde (NDL) Caterham F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday, 21 March 2013 Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 23 May 2013 Paul Hembery (GBR) Pirelli Motorsport Director with FanVision.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Practice, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Friday, 12 October 2012 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice, Shanghai, China, Friday, 12 April 2013 John Booth (GBR) Marussia Racing Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 7 October 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Thursday, 18 April 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Thursday, 18 April 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 14 April 2013 Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 15 March 2013 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Race Day, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 30 June 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, 16 March 2013 Eric Boullier (FRA) Lotus F1 Team Principal.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Jerez, Spain, Tuesday, 5 February 2013 Alan Permane (GBR) Lotus F1 Race Engineer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 22 March 2013

Round 10, the last Grand Prix before the August summer break, sees the Formula One paddock making the short hop from Germany to Hungary and Budapest’s high-downforce Hungaroring circuit. Those involved in the Formula 1 Magyar Nagydij 2013 discuss their prospects for the coming weekend…

Paul di Resta, Force India
2012 Qualifying -12th, 2012 Race - 12th

“I’m feeling positive (ahead of the weekend). At the start of the year it would have been hard to imagine that we would be fifth in the championship after nine races, but that’s what we’ve achieved. Every part of the team is working well and that’s been the key. There have been some missed opportunities, but we’ve always recovered well and been able to keep the momentum going. I’ve always enjoyed going to Budapest since I first visited in 2010 when I was the team’s third driver. It’s an historic city and I usually stay very close to the river in the centre. It’s full of interesting places and great restaurants. My racing memories are mixed, but the 2011 race was an exciting one on a damp track. I finished seventh - which was my best finish in Formula One at the time. (The track is) very demanding physically and mentally because you are nearly always in a corner. The layout feels more like a street track and all the corners flow into each other so you need to find the rhythm of the track and build your confidence with each lap. By the time the track is fully rubbered in it feels very satisfying to drive. There’s no reason why we can’t be competitive. The big unknown is the new Pirelli tyres. It’s a big challenge for all the teams to try and get on top of them quickly. It’s hard to say if they will impact on the performance level of the teams, but we will go into the weekend with the same approach and then target Q3 on Saturday and points on Sunday.”

Adrian Sutil, Force India
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“The Hungarian Grand Prix is my 100th race in Formula One - it’s hard to believe how quickly time goes by! It’s a big milestone, for sure, but in the end it doesn’t really change anything. My goals remain the same as when I started my first event and that’s to win races. I still love the sport and I hope I can continue to drive these amazing cars for a long time. I’ve always enjoyed this event. It’s the mid-way point of the year just before the holidays and the weather is usually very nice. But it’s one of those places where I’ve not had much success. I’ve never scored points in Budapest so that’s the first objective this year. (The track is) very tight and twisty and there are not many places where you can catch your breath, apart from the pit straight. It’s dusty, too, and the track takes a while to clean up on Friday during practice. We usually run with maximum downforce there because after Monaco it’s the slowest circuit on the calendar. The track is tight and we need to qualify well because there are not many opportunities to overtake.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India team principal
“The priority (for this weekend) remains the same as the Silverstone test: to get better understanding of the new Pirelli tyres. That’s been a key factor in our strong performances so far this year so we need to make sure we continue to deliver good tyre management. As a venue, the Hungaroring has not traditionally been our strongest track. Paul scored points a couple of years ago and it’s important to add some more to our tally this weekend.”

Felipe Massa, Ferrari
2012 Qualifying - 7th, 2012 Race - 9th

“The Hungarian Grand Prix is a very special event for me, that brings back a lot of memories. Naturally, there are some negative memories from my [2009 Hungaroring] accident, but also positive ones in that I am here today, getting ready for Budapest, healthy and still racing. I love the fans in Hungary, as I actually have a lot more of them since my accident, so it’s somewhere I am always pleased to go back to and of course I hope I can have a good race there this weekend.

“It’s a short track, with a lot of corners one after the other with no long straights. Overtaking is difficult, with changes of direction all the time, which make it a fun track. So it’s an old style race track and Sunday afternoon can be tough, but I like going back to these old fashioned venues.

“For sure people say the characteristics of our car are not best suited to this circuit and that it will be tough for us to fight for the win here, but I am not sure this is an accurate assessment, because there have been other circuits where we expected our car to be very strong and it was not and vice versa. The important thing will be to get a good understanding of exactly how the car is reacting as quickly as possible. The circuit requires as much downforce as possible, because the speed down the straight is not so important here. You need a car that is very stable and that is kind to the tyres to avoid degradation. I think we can be competitive, so I’m hoping our weekend goes in the opposite way to what people are expecting.

“I expect the tyres will be critical again, especially in relation to temperature. They will perform very differently in qualifying and the race and I hope we can make the most of the high temperatures.”

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
2012 Qualifying - 13th, 2012 Race - 10th

“The Hungaroring is always a track that I enjoy driving and it has quite a challenging layout for the drivers. With all the twists and turns, it feels very much like Monaco but takes place on a normal circuit. Qualifying will be important this weekend which is good for us but we know that we have to deliver on Sunday as well. The forecast looks hot and it is likely to very demanding on the tyres. Physically it will be a tough race and the lack of straights means that you never get a moment to relax. It would be great for us to come away from Hungary with another strong result to take into the summer break.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2012 Qualifying - 1st, 2012 Race - 1st

“I have always enjoyed the Hungaroring and it's a track that I have been lucky enough to win at three times so far. I love the layout of the circuit and Budapest is a really cool city which has a great atmosphere over the race weekend. It will be an important weekend for us and we need to get off to a good start on Friday when we have the chance to try the new tyres for the first time. I've spent some time at the factory since we returned from Germany and I know that everyone there is working really hard to improve our overall performance and to address the issues that we experienced at the last race. It would be great to reward all of that effort with a strong weekend in Budapest and I'll certainly be pushing to make that happen.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes team principal
“The final race before the summer break is always a milestone for the team and an opportunity to review our performance before our staff enjoy a well-deserved break during the summer shutdown. Our team are currently in second place in the Constructors' Championship with two race wins to date. However the season has not been without its challenges and we have had some very tough races. This happens over the course of a season and you have to take the highs and lows and find your path to making improvements. Both Nico and Lewis have visited the factory in the two weeks since we returned from Germany and everyone has been working very hard to investigate our tyre sensitivities ahead of the elevated temperatures that we will undoubtedly experience this weekend in Budapest. The Hungaroring is a very slow circuit with mainly low and medium-speed corners, which present an interesting technical challenge. Friday will also be our first opportunity to work with the new tyres on our car, so we have a great deal to learn in a short space of time. We want to finish the first half of the season on a high but the challenge facing us is clear.”

Toto Wolff, Mercedes team executive director
Hungary will mark the end of the first half of the season and it has been a generally positive one for our team. We go into the race weekend with two victories and six pole positions under our belt. Those results show how much hard work we have put into our year so far and the successful way the team is coming together. But we are under no illusions for the second half of the year and this weekend in Hungary we have a number of challenges to overcome. First, we will need to do extra homework on Friday to understand how the new tyres work with our car. Then we will have to get to grips with the high temperatures, a demanding circuit and the soft and medium compound Pirelli tyres. During the race at the Nürburgring, we were overheating the tyres and we want to minimise the chance of suffering a repeat problem in Hungary, where the track temperatures will also be high. The team has worked thoroughly since Germany to improve the situation and we will find out how the new tyres will affect that situation, too. Our motivation is high to score a good result that we can take into the summer break but we know there is plenty of good work needed to achieve that.

Pastor Maldonado, Williams
2012 Qualifying - 8th, 2012 Race - 13th

“I have driven at the Hungaroring for a few years now and it is a very demanding circuit for drivers as it is often very hot and there are limited overtaking opportunities. There will be new tyres from Pirelli this weekend that combine last year’s construction with this year’s compounds, so understanding how these will perform will be a primary focus for the teams as we prepare for this race. Testing these tyres at Silverstone in the young drivers test has given me an insight into the changes made, but it will only be after practice on Friday that can we sit down and analyse all the data and discuss our strategy for the weekend. Qualifying is so important at this track because of the small number of overtaking opportunities, but I qualified well last year so I know what to expect and can hopefully deliver a strong performance that will give the team a boost as we head into the summer break.”

Valtteri Bottas, Williams
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“I have raced at the Hungaroring in Formula Renault and GP3 and drove in FP1 last year and I always found this to be a very demanding track because there are very few places to overtake and the layout has a lot of corners in quick succession which gives you very few opportunities to rest. The track can be a bit dusty at the beginning of the week as it doesn’t get used much during the year, but the grip does increase a lot as the weekend progresses and you notice a big difference between FP1 and FP2. The team were very close to securing a double points finish in Germany and the hard work everyone is putting in is moving us in the right direction. There is normally a big Finnish contingent who fly over to Hungary for this race and I’d like to be able to give them something to cheer about and secure some points for the team.”

Xevi Pujolar, Williams chief race engineer
“The Hungaroring is one of the most challenging circuits of the year with the potential high ambient temperatures also putting extra demand on the drivers. The layout is quite technical; one corner quickly flows into the next and there are not many straights to be able to relax. The circuit layout leads to medium-low average speeds and so we run the maximum downforce configuration. You would think that because the average corner speed is medium-low that the tyres don’t suffer as much, but because of the number of corners, it’s unrelenting and a lot of energy goes through the rubber. Pirelli are introducing new tyres for the race in Hungary, so we will be aiming to fine tune our set-up on Friday to try to get the best out of them this weekend.”

Remi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations
“The twisty 4.381-kilometre circuit is often compared to a kart track, with one slow speed corner leading into another in very quick succession. This sinuous nature gives rise to the second lowest average speed over a lap (after Monaco) so power sensitivity and outright engine power is not a major concern. As a result we generally use engines on the third race and work to deliver good low speed torque response and driveability.”

Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber
2012 Qualifying -10th, 2012 Race - 11th

“Budapest is a city with a great atmosphere and a lot of beautiful old buildings. The Danube runs right through the city and I like being there. The first time I went to the Hungaroring was in 2009. I won the GP2 race on the Saturday and I have always had good races there in the past. In 2010, during my first Formula One season, I had my best result up to then with sixth place just before the summer break. The circuit is technically challenging and leaves little room for mistakes. The second sector has several combinations that all flow on from each other. If you get off the racing line there, the whole sector is ruined. You have to be spot on. Overtaking is difficult too, even with the DRS. There is one straight, but it’s not that long, which is why qualifying is particularly important.”

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“Moving forward from the Nurburgring, I think Hungary can be a good weekend. The Hungaroring is one of those unique circuits in terms of the track layout, and I have good memories of it. It was the first European track I ever drove on during a test in Formula BMW. The track has several medium speed corners and stability is particularly important there. It’s also very demanding on the tyres, especially in the long corners, and also because temperatures can be quite high, which you have to take into account, especially for the tyre management. The track is very technical and it will be difficult to overtake. My favourite parts are turns one to five, and especially turn four, a fast lefthander, which is blind when you turn into it, so taking the kerb there is very exciting.”

Tom McCullough, Sauber head of track engineering
“The Hungaroring is a real challenge for both drivers and engineers, as it is one of the most technical circuits on the calendar. The layout of the track results in a high percentage of time spent cornering. This means the required level of downforce is similar to Monaco. There are a lot of longer corners that all flow from each other, with most of them being low to medium speed. The qualifying position is particularly important, as overtaking is still difficult even with the use of KERS and DRS. After a productive Silverstone test evaluating our updated package and the latest specification tyres, we feel well prepared for this race. Our aim is to again qualify stronger and convert this into points scoring finishes.”

Giedo van der Garde, Caterham
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“Hungary’s the last race before the summer break, and another chance for us to keep up the momentum we picked back up in Germany. The Hungaroring is a track I’ve always gone well at - I’ve won races and had podiums there in GP2 and World Series and now, in F1, it’s tight, twisty and a relatively short lap so it’s a bit like Monaco without the barriers!

“We obviously had our best quali result of the year so far in Monaco and while I doubt the weather will play its part in Hungary as it did on Saturday in Monaco, the track layout and characteristics are still kind of similar and the length of the lap and the reduced reliance on pure aero performance may help us edge closer to the cars ahead.

“We will continue the aggressive development plan started in Bahrain and have updates again for Hungary and that’ll help us, particularly on Sunday. That’s the goal for this weekend – have a clean Friday to set us up for both quali and the race, and then see if we can use what we’ve learned at the Silverstone test to fight on Sunday afternoon.”

Charles Pic, Caterham
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - 20th

“Straight after the Silverstone test we all go to Hungary for race ten. Like my team mate I’ve always gone well at the Hungaroring and I like the whole place. The city’s beautiful, the track is a good challenge, particularly sector two which you need to get right and find the right rhythm and then you can gain a lot of time, and it’s nearly always hot there so physical fitness also plays its part.

“It’ll be another busy week for the team, coming straight from Silverstone to Hungary, but after that they have a very well deserved rest and a chance to recharge the batteries. For me, I’m at an event with our partner GE on Wednesday, something we’ve done at a few races this year, and then it’s 100 percent on the race weekend. After the test last week we’re as prepared as we can be and if we can pick up where we left off in Germany before we had the puncture, I think we can have a good weekend. I think, from what we learned from Silverstone, the revised tyres should suit us as they behaved consistently over both long and short runs, and the deg levels were more manageable than the compounds we’ve been using so far this season. ”

Pirelli
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director

“Hungary marks the first event for our latest specification P Zero tyres, which consist of the 2012 construction matched to the 2013 compounds. These tyres were tried out by the teams at Silverstone during the young driver test, who benefitted from the opportunity to adapt the set-up of their cars to best suit the new tyres. Now they get to use them in competition for the first time, and with qualifying particularly important at the Hungaroring, the work done in free practice will be very important. Overtaking at this circuit is never an easy task, so the teams will be looking to use strategy to maximise their opportunities to gain track position. The selection of medium and soft tyres should provide plenty of chances to help them do that, based on the data that all the teams gain with different fuel loads in free practice. Temperatures in Hungary can be very high, and this is the other factor on which the levels of wear and degradation experienced will depend. Traction and braking are two critical aspects of tyre performance in Hungary, with the teams running a set-up designed to emphasise these key areas. With levels of lateral energy relatively low, tyre performance rather than durability will be the limiting factor and this will form the basis of the strategy selected – with the teams aiming to keep the tyres within the peak window of operating performance for as long as possible. The design of our latest tyres should help them to do this.”

Jules Bianchi, Marussia
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“Spending Friday afternoon in the car at Silverstone highlighted how much I’ve missed the racing since Germany, so I’m looking forward to Hungary before we have the long summer break. The first part of the season has passed by so quickly and I think it is important that we have a stronger weekend in Budapest, so everyone stays focused on what we need to do during the second half. Everyone deserves a good long rest as a reward for the all the hard work, but then we have to continue pushing hard to ensure we achieve our objectives for the season. The Hungaroring is a circuit I enjoy, having raced there several times before in GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5. It is usually extremely hot and because the track is quite demanding to drive, it is not such an easy weekend. There is no let-up across the whole lap so it requires a lot of focus, but that is why it is quite an interesting race because it demands everything you have as a driver. Let’s hope for a positive weekend for the Team with a strong two-car finish.”

Max Chilton, Marussia
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“Hungary holds many special memories for me as the track where I achieved my first race win in GP2 last season, so I’m really excited to be heading back there. I love everything about Budapest - the track, the weather, the people and the city. It is always hot and sunny at the Hungaroring and it’s just a circuit I really enjoy which seems to suit me. As ever, the objective is to have the best build-up possible then raise our game a little in qualifying before hopefully enjoying a good race to finish ahead of our immediate competitors. It would be nice to send the Team off for the summer break with a positive result in hand.”

John Booth, Marussia team principal
“We’ve had a constructive test at Silverstone this week, providing our young drivers with valuable experience and our race drivers with the opportunity to test the 2013 compound-2012 construction tyres. We’ve been extremely fortunate with the weather and judging by the forecast for next week in Budapest we can look forward to more of the same, although temperatures in the mid-thirties can feel very warm indeed in the midst of a busy race weekend, particularly in the cockpit. The Hungaroring will be a very demanding circuit for our drivers, although their fitness for any circuit is never in question; we’re very fortunate to have two guys who take their physical preparation very seriously. This is a track that demands their full attention throughout the lap and with little or no respite. They both seem to enjoy it there and their simulator preparation has gone well, so now we hope to have a strong weekend with everything coming together for us to get both cars home and ahead of our direct competitors.”

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2012 Qualifying - 3rd, 2012 Race - 4th

“We had two exciting races where tyres played an important role. This will be our first race back on the 2012 tyres and we will see how they respond to the demands of the long corners and high track temperature. Hungry has some interesting memories for me. It was my first F1 race with the Red Bull family; let’s hope I can add to my memories by winning there for the first time before I go on holiday.”

Mark Webber, Red Bull
2012 Qualifying - 11th, 2012 Race - 8th

“The favourite part of the circuit for me is after the top chicane, the left right, it’s the middle sector basically, which is really rewarding. It’s quite nice to put a Formula One car on the limit through there because it’s quite challenging for the driver. My first ever race there was 1998 with the Mercedes sportscar, where we won the race. The Hungaroring has been a good circuit for me over the years and I have picked up a lot of points there, including my F1 win in 2010.”

Jenson Button, McLaren
2012 Qualifying - 4th, 2012 Race - 6th

“Great circuit, great place. I have so many positive memories of racing at the Hungaroring - obviously, I won my first Grand Prix there back in 2006, which was incredibly emotional - and also feels such a long time ago now! - and I also won my 200th race there back in 2011. That was one of those days when everything went right, the car was a dream to drive and I just brought it home. Every victory in Formula One is special, but that’s right up there as one of my favourite days in the car. Of course, a win in 2013 is going to be difficult, but I actually think the team is working very well right now: in Germany, our tyre-usage, strategy and management of the race was as good as it’s ever been. It would be good to have a car with a little more pace to enable those calls to have a bit more impact at the front of the pack, but, for the moment, we can be satisfied by doing the best possible job in qualifying and on Sunday afternoon.”

Sergio Perez, McLaren
2012 Qualifying - 14th, 2012 Race - 14th

“I haven't had the best results in my two previous outings at the Hungaroring, which is a shame because I enjoy the circuit, have usually qualified well there, and think the race is a great event for Formula One. So, for this year, I’m going to Hungary with realistic ambitions: after a positive weekend at the Nurburgring, we’re focused on further improving and understanding MP4-28. I think the race in Germany showed that, when things come together, we’re able to be a force in the race, even if we can’t quite set the pace at the front. That is extremely motivating during a difficult year. Hungary is the last race of the first ‘half’ of 2013; it’s the final event before the official summer break, so there’s usually a good feeling in the paddock. For everybody on the race team, or working back at the MTC, it would be great to send everybody off on their summer holidays with another strong points finish.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“The Hungarian Grand Prix has become a firm staple on the Formula One calendar - the race is a popular hotspot for many fans across Europe, and is invariably supported by a large contingent of vocal and passionate supporters. The Hungaroring itself is a uniquely challenging low-speed track that requires a good balance of mechanical grip and aerodynamic traction to maximise performance through the many corners. The race often rewards tenacious, charging drivers who enjoy the relentless pace of this twisting course. Of the 27 Hungarian Grands Prix that have been held since 1986, McLaren has won 11; while we don’t expect to add to that tally this year, we’ve been buoyed by our positive result in Germany earlier this month, and the whole team is looking forward to maximising our package at a circuit we all enjoy.”

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus
2012 Qualifying - 5th, 2012 Race - 2nd

“I have finished second in Hungary too many times, so I know how important it is to lead the race after the first corner. DRS or not, it’s never easy to overtake at the Hungaroring. To get the weekend right, you have to have good sessions in FP1, FP2 and FP3, then a strong qualifying session and finally a perfect start to the race. It is always nice to go to Hungary. The circuit is not the most difficult of them all, but it is a really challenging venue as it’s usually very hot which makes it a demanding race. Of course, the heat has helped us with the car so far this year so that will make things better, but only if it’s a win will you not suffer from the heat. It’s such a slow, twisty circuit, so two things are really important there; good turn-in and good traction. If you have those, you have a strong car for the race. Obviously you need to get to the front in the qualifying, but also avoid the dirty side of the track on the grid. When you look back through the races this season, it seems the dirty side of the track is a real disadvantage in the starts. Many times Hungary has been called ‘the Grand Prix of Finland’. A lot of Finns go to this race every year and it is always nice to see the blue and white flags waving. Hopefully we get the result we are looking for. It would be nice to take the break after this race and recharge the batteries in the middle of the season with a good result on the board, but most importantly, it would be good to have the points.”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus
2012 Qualifying - 2nd, 2012 Race - 3rd

“I can remember feeling frustrated last year in Budapest as we did have a chance to be fighting for the win before we got held up by a driver who didn’t respect the blue flags, but that’s certainly a better frustration than missing out on the podium or even worse. Taking third in Germany was great so I certainly have a positive feeling heading to Hungary. What’s the key to a good result in Budapest? It’s a tight and twisty track so you need a good qualifying result. We showed last year that being on the front row certainly helps and it would be fantastic to be back there again this year. We’ve also seen that high temperatures work well for us and it’s usually hot in Budapest, so we’ll be hoping for plenty of sun again. It’s a circuit that I quite like and one where I have had good experiences in the past. I scored my first GP2 Series pole position there in 2008, then finished first and third in 2011 which was a pretty good weekend. In 2012 I had my third podium finish of the year and qualified P2 on the grid which was a great way to end the first half of the season. In terms of driving, it’s not the most physically challenging layout in terms of high speed corners, but the heat you experience in the cockpit can be quite intense. It can also be a difficult circuit early in the weekend as the track is not used very much, meaning it’s quite slippery when you first go out.”

Eric Boullier
“Budapest will be the real test, but we’re confident we have enough data (on the revised Pirelli tyres, from the Silverstone test) to say that there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises. We performed well in Hungary last year and we’re eager to do the same again this season too.”

Alan Permane, Lotus trackside operations director
“We believe the original allocation of medium and hard compounds would have been a very conservative choice for Budapest. Of course, the situation is still somewhat different as - for the first time this season - we’ll see a combination of the 2013 compounds with 2012 construction used in a race scenario. This has brought something of an unknown into the equation with this year’s car, as the tyres are of a slightly different shape and will react differently to camber, toe in/out and so on. We’ve had the opportunity to get a better understanding of how they’ll behave at the young driver test so there are no concerns on that front. On top of that, our knowledge of this construction from the 2012 season carries over quite well to this new configuration; giving us a good baseline in terms of such considerations as ride height, camber and toe sensitivity.

“In terms of upgrades, we had a tightly packed schedule over the three-day test at Silverstone, to the point where even with a few extra days and sets of tyres we would still have had more than enough development work to keep us occupied. This has given us plenty to think about heading to Hungary and indeed the second half of the season.

“In terms of track evolution, this circuit doesn’t get a great deal of use and it can get pretty dry and dusty out there, so it generally improves steadily throughout the weekend; not to Monaco levels, but notable enough to be worth factoring into our preparations for qualifying in particular. We saw Nico Rosberg getting caught out by an evolving track during qualifying at the Nurburgring - a circuit that is far more frequently used - so it’ll keep us on our toes on Saturday afternoon.

“Qualifying is crucial. It’s a track where passing opportunities are few and far between, making overtaking very difficult even with a reasonable pace advantage, so we’ll be doing our utmost to qualify further up the field than we have been. Mercedes have proven themselves to be the class of the field in terms of single lap pace so it will be very difficult to qualify in front of them, but we’ll be looking to at least get very close to them on the grid to give our drivers the best chance possible of overhauling them in the race. We’ve seen in the past that they have struggled with tyre degradation on a Sunday which should work to our advantage - particularly in hot conditions as we often see in Hungary - with the medium / soft compound allocation also potentially giving us a broader scope in terms of strategies.”

More to follow.

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