HUNGARY GRAND PRIX 1998 - PREVIEW HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX 1998 - PREVIEW The West McLaren Mercedes team transfers from central to eastern Europe for the Hungarian Grand Prix and is looking to continue the form of Austria and Germany, where successive one-two finishes were secured. Round 12 of the Formula One World Championship takes place at the Hungaroring, which will provide West McLaren Mercedes with a very different challenge to the high-speed circuit of Hockenheim where the team recently increased its leads in both the Drivers' and Constructors Championships. Lying just 12 miles from Budapest, the Hungaroring is a tight and twisting 2.465-mile track nearly half the length of Germanys premier Grand Prix circuit. Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthards car set-ups will change from one extreme to another, with downforce switching from minimum to maximum. Achieving high cornering speeds is more critical than straight-line speed owing to the nature of the Hungaroring track. Hungary became the first Eastern Bloc nation to host a Grand Prix when the Hungaroring was added to the Formula One calendar in 1986. Since that debut, the circuit has developed a reputation for limited overtaking opportunities. The downhill first corner, which drivers enter in sixth gear before braking for a blind third-gear corner, provides the best chance for passing. Mika made a great passing move on Eddie Irvines Ferrrari at this corner during last years race. 'Qualifying on the front row at the Hungaroring is as vital as Monaco,' said David Coulthard. 'The tricky layout of the circuit will make it a tough weekend, but it will be good to have the opportunity to visit Budapest, which I think is one of Europes most interesting cities.' 'Hungary is like a home Grand Prix for me,' said Mika Hakkinen, 'because so many Finnish people go there. There is a special relationship between Finnish people and Hungary and I hope I can entertain them on race day.' 'The team is concentrating on maintaining the performances of Austria and Germany for the Hungarian Grand Prix,' said Ron Dennis. 'Hungary offers limited passing opportunities, so good qualifying positions and race strategies will be imperative for both David and Mika.'