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Hungary preview quotes - Manor, Toro Rosso, Williams & more

21 Jul 2016

The 11th round of the season takes the teams and drivers to Budapest’s tight and twisting Hungaroring for the one of the most challenging and picturesque races on the calendar. Those involved in the Formula 1 Magyar Nagydij 2016 look ahead to the action…

Manor

Rio Haryanto

“I enjoy everything about Hungary, and especially the circuit. I won here in 2011 in GP3 - with the Manor Racing GP3 team in fact! I arrived here two days ago, so I’ve had plenty of time to adjust to the high temperatures that we have here at the moment, and to explore the city a bit. I’ve been here a few times now and it seems to get better and better every year. From GP2 I know this is a really interesting and technically challenging circuit. It’s pretty relentless, in that you don’t get much time to catch your breath during the lap. It requires maximum concentration at pretty much every turn if you really want to put a good lap together, but when you do, it’s actually a lot of fun.”

Pascal Wehrlein

“These next two races are really good ones so, if anything, things will be hotting up for me, rather than calming down. The Hungarian Grand Prix is always an exciting event.”

Dave Ryan, racing director

“Hungary is always a fantastic Grand Prix and we’ll be debuting some of the developments we tested at the Silverstone test last week.”

Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz

"I enjoy racing in Hungary. Just like they did in Austria this year, the circuit in Budapest has also been resurfaced, so all our references will have to be reset. You arrive at Turn 1 at high speed, so you need to brake hard – from 300 to 80kph in about 80 metres. You then get to Turn 2, where you always experience some understeer, which makes it difficult to turn the car into the corner. Turn 3 should be flat in qualifying and Turn 4 is a very high-speed completely blind corner taken in 6th gear. Turns 6 and 7 form a very slow chicane, followed by a medium-speed and then a high-speed one. So this is a section formed by three chicanes that progressively get quicker and our car should be good here. The last three corners of the circuit are difficult, all in third gear. The second sector is the most interesting and enjoyable one to drive. I also think that our car should be strong here, so I'm looking forward to the weekend."

Daniil Kvyat

"The Hungarian track is an interesting one. The braking going into Turn 1 is heavy, while at Turn 2 you need to brake while you turn, which can mean some front-locking if you're not careful. Turn 4 is a tight but high-speed corner, while Turn 5 is another corner where you have to brake and turn at the same time. After this come three chicanes: the first one is tight, the second is a bit faster and the third is a high-speed one. At Turn 12, the long last corner, you need to use the whole track on entry. My favourite parts of this track are the high-speed sections – Turns 4 and 5 as well as Turn 11. The key to going quickly here is to get into a rhythm and let the corners flow into one another, which makes it a fun lap to drive. But in the race, it can be frustrating as overtaking is pretty difficult, which means qualifying well is very important at this event."

Williams

Valtteri Bottas

“The Hungaroring is probably the most intense track compared to the other events it falls around during in the season. It’s much tighter with many slow speed corners and a very technical track to drive, so definitely not the easiest. Budapest falls in the summertime and normally it’s very hot. It’s nicknamed the Finnish Grand Prix because there can be tens of thousands of Finns at the race. I always really appreciate seeing the Finnish flag and feeling that support.”

Felipe Massa

“Hungary is a track where I personally have a lot of history with the accident I had. As a consequence, I have the most amazing fans there who support me a lot. They follow me everywhere I go and always have gifts for me. It’s an amazing place to go back to and spend time with them. As a track, it’s somewhere you need to have very good downforce with the short straights and number of corners. It’s quite difficult on the tyres as well, so if you have good downforce, that will really work well for you at this track. All in all, it’s a fantastic race in a nice town that I enjoy.”

Pat Symonds

“Although the Hungaroring is a lower speed circuit than we have visited recently, it is a still a circuit where our car can perform well, and indeed Valtteri was running fifth last year before a collision dropped him out of the points. We are bringing a new floor to this race as part of our continued development, but the real focus will be on the expected high temperatures and the completely resurfaced track which will be very demanding on the tyres. We’d expect to see a mixture of two and three stop strategies in the race, with final decisions resting on the exact nature of the new asphalt.”

Sauber

Marcus Ericsson

“Looking back to last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix, my memories are not too bad. I was able to score one point by finishing the race in the top ten. We had a decent pace in the race, and I hope we can achieve a similar result this season. It is good that we continue our tests with the new rear in order to proceed with our aero evaluation. It will be important to compare the data we collected from Silverstone to that we will gather in Budapest.”

Felipe Nasr

“The month of July is packed with race weekends – after the Austrian and British Grands Prix we head to the last two race weekends before the summer break: The Hungarian and German Grands Prix. Last year at the Hungaroring we were stronger than expected in the race – with P11 I was close to the points. Now I am looking forward to get a first taste of the Sauber C35-Ferrari with the new rear wing.”

Pirelli

Paul Hembery, motorsport director

“Hungary provides a very different type of challenge to what we’ve seen at Silverstone, but some of the teams used the recent Silverstone test to try out a few ideas that could be relevant to the Hungaroring, so it will be interesting to see what effect this has. The track has been completely resurfaced, and we saw in Austria that this had quite a profound influence as well: we will need to see if this is case in Hungary too, so free practice will be very important.”

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg

"Getting back in the points in Silverstone was a good result, although I think I could have scored even more points had some circumstances like the VSC played out differently. However, the car performed well and we beat some fast cars on merit, which is very encouraging for Hungary and the rest of the season.

"The race in Budapest is generally pretty cool. I am a big fan of this city: it's beautiful, with lots of historic buildings and there's a good vibe around town. There are many fans who somehow manage to find out where you're staying and they'll be waiting at the hotel every morning and evening. It's pretty good fun.

"The Hungaroring is not somewhere I raced a lot in my junior formulas. Outside of F1, I only raced there in GP2 in 2009 – I won the feature race and it was a pretty good weekend for me. It's an old school track: narrow and very twisty. There is no chance to relax or lose concentration as all the corners come one after the other and you risk losing momentum with any mistake. It's a challenging track to get right and it usually produces some fun races."

Sergio Perez

"We have been strong in the last few races, but after some very fast tracks like Austria and Silverstone we head to the Hungaroring, which is the complete opposite to them. 

"The weekend in Budapest is one I find very enjoyable: there's a nice atmosphere in the paddock and everyone's a fan of this beautiful city. Unfortunately, this year the race is not the final one before the summer break: in the past we usually had a big celebration on Sunday night and the mood there was always great, regardless of whether your result was good or bad. I have a lot of great memories from those parties! I hope there is still one this year as it's a great way to release a lot of the tension after the race.

"I really like Hungary and its interesting culture. The locals really love Formula One too and there's always a big crowd in the grandstands. It's a track with few overtaking opportunities so qualifying is important. It's probably the second most important race for track position after Monaco. I think it will be a challenging weekend, but we know we can be competitive on every track. I haven't had a lot of luck there in the past, so I hope for better fortunes this year."

Vijay Mallya

"I thoroughly enjoyed the Silverstone weekend. The atmosphere was fantastic and it was great to see a full house on Sunday. The enthusiasm from the British crowd showed Formula One at its best. Meeting fans in the campsites was great fun and I'm pleased they were treated to an entertaining race.

I'm very proud of our performance at Silverstone. 14 points represents our best ever score from a British Grand Prix and it means we are closing down the gap to fourth place in the championship. I take real encouragement from our pace across the whole weekend, especially during the race. With half the season to go, there's no reason why we can't score good points at every race. If we want to fight for fourth, that's what we need to do.

"Budapest last year was a pretty challenging weekend for the team and a race we prefer to forget. So things can only get better this year. The twisty layout of the Hungaroring is the complete opposite of Silverstone so it will be interesting to see how we perform there. We've worked hard to improve the car through low and medium-speed corners so I think we should be in good shape this weekend."

McLaren

Fernando Alonso

“Silverstone was definitely a challenge for us, but we knew that from the beginning and we still took a lot of positives away from the weekend. Reliability-wise, we’re getting stronger, and the test just after the grand prix was definitely a little boost for the whole team. We completed a full programme, got a lot of mileage done, and learned a lot which will help with our development, so hopefully we can put some of this knowledge to good use in Hungary.

“There’s no such thing as perfect in this sport, but the important thing will be to execute a trouble-free weekend in all areas. If we manage to get the best out of every session, and have some clean, drama-free running, hopefully we can find some good pace in the car and maximise the potential of what we have underneath us - and score some valuable points.

“The Hungaroring is a great little circuit, and has quite unique characteristics that not many other tracks share. It’s a bit like a street circuit in the way it’s configured, even though it’s purpose-built, and it requires absolute precision and concentration to get the most out of every lap.

“Since you need good balance and downforce, the best way to get a good lap time is to really attack the corners - a bit like in karting - so from that point of view it’s a really fun circuit to drive. Although it’s not a traditional ‘power’ circuit like many others, it doesn’t feel like a slow circuit either; I hope we can find a good set-up early on in the weekend so we can really make the most of our car and hopefully have some fun.”

Jenson Button

“This circuit is quite different from the last few we’ve been to, so I’m looking forward to heading back to Hungary next weekend. It’s less dependent on power, and much more dependent on traction, cornering speeds and agility, and it’s a really enjoyable challenge. You get a great feeling when you hook up a good lap there.

“The focus is much more on aero, so we’ll run pretty high downforce and try to make the most of our car’s good traction under braking. Hopefully it’ll mean we can keep up with the chasing pack and maybe even make up a bit of ground, too. Although we struggled with our pace in Silverstone, the Hungaroring is a different kettle of fish, so I’m keen to see how we perform there.

“Both Fernando and I won our first Grand Prix in Hungary, and it’s always a special feeling going back. It’s been 10 years since that first victory - although it doesn’t feel that long - so the Hungaroring is a place that holds great memories. Budapest is a really cool city and we stay more centrally than at many other Grands Prix, so we get to see quite a bit of the surrounding area, and it makes for a great atmosphere and a real buzz about the place.

“In the past couple of years Hungary has been fairly good to us and provided a bit of a boost before the summer break after a relentless few weeks of back-to-back racing, so I’m hoping for more of the same this time around. It suits our car more than some of the other circuits, but of course there are no guarantees, so we’ll be putting in the hard work on Friday to make sure we have the best possible set-up for the demands of this quirky track.”

Eric Boullier, Racing Director

“We head to the Hungaroring off the back of a positive couple of days testing at Silverstone. The Grand Prix weekend was certainly a challenge, but knowing the characteristics of the circuit as we do, we were prepared for a difficult race, although it’s still disappointing not to have finished in the points.

“The test, however, was encouraging, and we definitely maximised the track time to collate some valuable data which our engineers in the UK and Japan are putting to good use on the development of the MP4-31. Not all will apply directly to the race in Hungary, of course, but we certainly hope that we can align the strengths of our package with the unique nature of the Hungaroring circuit.

“Over the past few races, we’ve endured some bad luck, made a few small mistakes, and suffered some reliability niggles. But, if we can enjoy a smooth weekend, I’m hopeful we can fulfil the potential that our package has shown at various points throughout the season so far, on both sides of the garage, and secure a result that, statistically, we know we’re capable of on this type of circuit.”

Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda R&D Co Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer

"With an old-school style racing circuit and the shimmering summer sun, the Hungarian Grand Prix is a special place for Honda. I can still remember when Jenson won his first Grand Prix with us in 2006 and the incredible atmosphere within the team and fans.

“Though the Hungaroring is not a power-oriented circuit, it still requires precise energy management throughout every lap of the race. It’s also a circuit where overtaking is extremely difficult, so it’ll be important for us to get the qualifying lap correct. Our target again is to reach Q3 and be in a good place to score more points, for which we have two skilled drivers that we have complete trust in to drive brilliantly through the gruelling 70-lap race."

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton

"It's a wonderful feeling, winning in front of your home crowd. I' m still buzzing from it now and looking forward to carrying those positive vibes into the next race weekend. Ever since the low of Barcelona I've been able to cultivate this really strong mental attitude and I'm really feeling that fire inside me right now. Of course, I have good days and bad days like everyone else. But whatever the case, I'm able to turn negatives into positives when it counts. I'm feeling fresh, feeling powerful and feeling confident heading to Hungary. It's a track that for some reason has always suited my style and I have incredible support there, so I can't wait to get to out on track. The past couple of years I haven' t had the smoothest weekends in Budapest, of course. But I know I'v e got the pace, so I'm gunning to turn that around this time."

Nico Rosberg

"Silverstone was a good weekend except for the loss of position following the Stewards' decision after the race. It was disappointing to lose a hard-fought and deserved second position in such a way – but we have accepted the decision and now I have to look forward with positivity.   I am leading the World Championship coming up to the halfway point of the season and there' s still a long way to go. The battle is on with Lewis and I'm feeling great in myself and great in the car, so bring it on! I can' t wait for the next battle between us in Budapest. It's a tough circuit that really tests you as a driver and a challenge I really enjoy, so I'm looking forward to an exciting and hopefully successful weekend!"

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

"It was a special day, bringing home a 1-2 finish in front of our friends and colleagues from Brackley and Brixworth. Now, we face a very different challenge in Budapest. This circuit has not been kind to us over the past two years and it plays to the strengths of our rivals. The Red Bull, for example, is a car that functions well where high drag isn't penalised as much as at other types of circuit. So, in wet conditions and at low-speed circuits such as the Hungaroring, they are a major threat. We will need to be flawless to come out on top at this track. We are also now entering a time where things are complicated even more by some big decisions to be made. Every week we must analyse how much resource we move across to the 2017 project – but that's a tricky balance. Some teams will have stopped 2016 development very early – as early as February maybe, once the current cars hit the circuit. That does give them an advantage, as the learning curve is very steep at the beginning. If you are a few weeks behind you can find yourselves much further back in the end. We may be halfway through the battle for this year – but the hard work is only just beginning."

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)

"Since the Formula One summer shutdown was introduced in 2009, Hungary has traditionally been the last race before the break. With Germany now filling that slot, it feels strange to be going to Budapest without preparing for a well-earned rest afterwards! It's the only race we haven't won in the V6 Hybrid Formula One era and the Hungaroring is a tough venue to crack, with only 13 of the 30 Grands Prix to be held at this circuit having been won by the pole sitter – despite it being one of the toughest tracks on the calendar for overtaking. It's tough on both cars and drivers, with ambient temperatures often reaching well into the 30s Celsius. The layout is low-speed, so we will run as much downforce as possible – similar to Monaco. With the SuperSoft compound available – a tyre one step softer than the softest compound allocated last year – we expect to see some very quick qualifying times. Budapest itself is one of the most beautiful cities we go to with a fantastic racetrack to boot. It's great for the spectators, as it has a natural amphitheatre layout allowing good views over large sections of the circuit from the stands. We have enthusiastic fans coming from across Europe for this race, so it's one we always enjoy. We'll do our best to put on a good show – hopefully without the chaos of last year, however."

Haas

Romain Grosjean

“I’ve always had a good feeling in Hungary. I’ve always liked the track. I like sector two, the flowing section of the track, which is quite nice. They’ve resurfaced it this year, so we’ll see how it goes. It used to be very bumpy. It’s a low-speed circuit. How the car handles is important. I’ve been lucky to have had cars that have performed well there over the years.

“It can get very hot in Budapest. It’s not an easy race, but on the other hand, there’s not many high-speed corners on the track, so it’s more about keeping your focus and concentration all through the race. Regardless, we’re always keeping fit to prepare ourselves.

“It’s very difficult to overtake at the Hungaroring. To be fair, I made one of the best overtakes of my life there in 2013, outside of turn four, on Felipe Massa. I got a drive-through penalty for that one for having four wheels off the track. That didn’t matter to me as it was one of my most beautiful overtaking moves ever.

“It’s going to be our number one priority to get the tyre to work for us and analyse the degradation, which can be high on some compounds. If we get the grip, we’ll get the lap time. Then we can do more pit stops and have more fun.”

Esteban Gutierrez

“Budapest is a track where the temperatures are usually very hot and the main characteristic of the tyre is that they get overheated very easily. But I know the car and I am confident in driving the car, so with any kind of conditions or track characteristics you just get used to it very quickly.

“The Hungaroring for me is a special track. It’s the first track I tested in Europe back at the end of 2007 when I tested Formula BMW, so it brings me great memories every time I come back there. I have achieved great results, so mainly from that point of view, I’m happy to be back. It is a slow track, but it has also quick corners and a very interesting layout.

“It’s quite physically demanding because of the fact you have not many chances to have a pause from the driving. You have to be focused all the time because all the corners make it very demanding - mentally and physically. But I like that challenge. It’s a nice track and I really look forward to the experience.

“I would say turn one is the best [overtaking] opportunity. You come down from the long straight and you have the DRS on, so yeah, it’s approaching turn one. Also the exit of turn one approaching turn two. Those are the two main overtaking opportunities.

“[Being tough on tyres is] a characteristic of the Hungaroring. The tyres degrade very quickly, so it’s even more important in qualifying to be spot on the first lap and get the maximum out of the new tyres. You don’t have a second chance on this track to put a good lap time on the tyres.

“I would say the last corner [is my favourite part of the Hungaroring], which I enjoy a lot, and sector two where you have the chicane and a good series of corners, which makes it very interesting. You cannot miss one apex because if you miss one apex, all of the following corners are affected and quite long. There is also a very nice, fast corner - Turn 11. I love it.”

Renault

Kevin Magnussen

“It’s certainly a twisty track and it’s a little bit difficult to overtake there, but it’s possible to have a good race there. I’ve had strong performances there in the past so I hope that will help this weekend. The race is very popular with fans and the support always helps. Budapest certainly is a city with a good vibe. It’s a beautiful with some lovely old buildings and some great restaurants. We don’t get enough time to explore the area during a race weekend unfortunately but I’m hoping to see a bit of it this time.

“The Hungaroring is a cool track, I find myself saying that for every circuit we visit but I’m a racing driver and all tracks are cool in a Formula One car! It’s another race to look forward to and hopefully another race where we can push as hard as possible and hope for points.

“Yes you can overtake - Turn 1 being the obvious example - but it’s not easy so qualifying position is a bit more important than at other places.

“Last race’s result was certainly not what we’d hoped for so we’ll be working as hard as possible in Hungary with hopefully some learnings from the test that took place at Silverstone this week.”

Jolyon Palmer

“I really like Budapest as it’s been the scene for some of my best races. I won there in the GP2 Series. I like the city and I like the entire place. The track is different in nature to many of them in terms of having a lot of slow speed corners so it feels a bit like Monaco without the walls.

“Obviously this will be my first Grand Prix there so there’s lots to think about. In particular, the circuit has been resurfaced so that’s an unknown - it might help us, it might not; we won’t know until we get there! New track surfaces are always a little bit of a venture into the unknown as you don’t know how much grip there will be, how the surface will evolve over the weekend and how the tyres will perform with the surface. Of course, a new surface doesn’t change the layout or make a significant difference to your approach to a particular circuit but nevertheless it does give an additional focus.

“There’s not a particular section of the circuit which I’d pick out on its own, it’s more about how the entire circuit flows together and makes for an exciting lap. Once you brake for turn one you don’t get much respite until you’re back round again and on to the straight as all the corners flow together and come thick and fast. It’s fun to drive a lap, it’s good for racing, hopefully we can have some fun with the strategy and get a good result.

“I’ve had some great racing there especially in the first sector. Braking into turn one is the main overtaking opportunity but there is opportunity to fight back straight after that corner so you can have some superb battles.”

Fred Vasseur, team principal

“We made some good progress at the Silverstone test and we have two drivers who are highly motivated to deliver after an ultimately frustrating previous Grand Prix so there’s nothing to say we can’t do a good job.”

Cyril Abiteboul, managing director

“We look forward to Budapest, but know that the challenge will be big. Slow, twisty circuits don’t necessarily suit us well, but - as I said before - every lesson learnt, however harsh, gives us information for the future.”

Red Bull

Max Verstappen

“Hungaroring is a great track and Budapest is a really cool city. Normally when we arrive it’s pretty warm which is nice. I always enjoy driving there because it’s a small track with a big car so it gives a bit of a go kart feeling, it’s also pretty tough due to all the turns, so you don’t really get a chance to rest and usually end up pretty sweaty in the heat. Sector 2 is my favourite part of the track, it’s all about hitting the apex of one corner right so you are in the right position for the next one. If you get it wrong it’s a big time penalty, so you need to be really focused.

“There are some really good restaurants in Budapest, I have had some amazing meals there. The good food and the good atmosphere means I always really enjoy going there. I have been there a few times testing with 2.0 litre, with Formula Three and once with F1 so I’m really looking forward to it again.”

Daniel Ricciardo

“I think the track in Hungary is very fun and busy. The second sector is great because it’s corner after corner and there is not much time to rest and think so you can just get into a good rhythm and once you find that rhythm it feels really nice. I won pretty much every category there so I’ve always enjoyed it.

“It’s also always around the summertime so it’s normally nice and hot and you get a good summer feeling when you go there. Also you know that the holidays are around the corner. Apart from that, Budapest is a fun city. It has really good restaurants on offer and the people are always very friendly.”


More to follow.