Hungarian GP McLaren preview

The Hungarian Grand Prix, round 12 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, takes place for the 15th time at the Hungaroring this coming weekend and the West McLaren Mercedes team arrives at the 2.465 miles/3.968 km track aiming to repeat...

The Hungarian Grand Prix, round 12 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, takes place for the 15th time at the Hungaroring this coming weekend and the West McLaren Mercedes team arrives at the 2.465 miles/3.968 km track aiming to repeat last year's one-two success.

The Hungaroring is one of the slowest tracks on the calendar and is located 12 miles to the Northeast of Budapest. The track is twisty, bumpy and often dusty and the limited overtaking possibilities makes a good qualifying position important. There is no testing on the circuit and as a result the West McLaren Mercedes race engineers have used simulation tools to help them generate and evaluate set ups in preparation for the weekend. The secret is to find the right combination between high downforce to provide the required grip in the many corners but not too much wing since the car will then be slow on the fast pit straight.

The first Formula One race at the Hungaroring, which was built, with Formula One in mind, took place in 1986. McLaren won the race for the first time in 1988 with Ayrton Senna and has won the event a total of four times -- most recently last year when Mika led a West McLaren Mercedes one two.

Mika Hakkinen:
'I like Hungary as its probably the closest I get to a home race because there are always a vast number of Finnish fans with flags and banners. Budapest is a really great city as well. I returned to testing last week after my holiday and spent Thursday and Friday at Valencia and I feel prepared for this weekends activities.'

David Coulthard:
'This track is very technical and there are not a lot of overtaking opportunities -- the best and some will say the only -- is at the end of the straight, so its important to qualify well. With six races to go there are still a lot of points to go for in the Championship and I have never been closer to Schumacher than I am now. I was testing on Friday and Saturday last week and we experimented with high downforce settings and tyre compounds in preparation for the tight and twisting Hungaroring.'

Ron Dennis:
'We are now closer to leading both the Formula One Constructors and Drivers World Championship than we have been all year. I'm confident that we will score more points in Hungary and make this year's championship even more exciting.'

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Ayrton Senna
Teams Mercedes , McLaren