Hungarian GP: McLaren preview

Following the three-week break from the 2004 Formula One World Championship, the West McLaren Mercedes team arrives in Budapest this week for the thirteenth race of the season, the Hungarian Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen took advantage of the break...

Following the three-week break from the 2004 Formula One World Championship, the West McLaren Mercedes team arrives in Budapest this week for the thirteenth race of the season, the Hungarian Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen took advantage of the break to marry his fiancée Jenni Dahlman in the couple's native Finland.

David Coulthard:

"I am looking forward to getting back to racing at the Hungaroring after the summer break, which as always was a great opportunity for everyone who travels to recharge their batteries and see family and friends. I spent some days training in Switzerland before taking a short break."

"Fitness is a key aspect in Hungary as it is traditionally extremely hot and is also a physically demanding circuit, with constant cornering and gear changing similar to Monaco, so endurance is vital. It is the shortest and slowest circuit after Monte Carlo, and sees us use a high downforce configuration."

"In addition to its tight, twisty nature, the Hungaroring also has a number of gradient changes and some strange cambers. Overtaking is limited, but it is a circuit where you can build up a good rhythm so it is enjoyable to drive. As we showed in Germany, the car is continuing to improve and hopefully I will be able to have an incident free race and challenge for a podium finish."

Kimi Raikkonen:

"I always enjoy the Hungarian Grand Prix due to the great atmosphere that all the Finnish fans create. It is a long-standing tradition for thousands of them to attend the race so it is like a home grand prix for me, and hopefully we will be able to secure a good result in front of them."

"The Hungaroring is famed for its dusty surface and although this clears up from the racing line during the first couple of sessions, we have the problem of the dust and rubber marbles from the tyres off-line throughout the weekend. The track surface is fairly abrasive so there are usually quite a lot of marbles, and this makes it difficult to overtake because as soon as you go off the racing line the track is very slippery, but you just have to be particularly careful."

"The best places to make a move are the first and second corners, and also into the new turn 12, which was modified for last year's race. Because of the lack of grip and the need to use the kerbs a lot to get a good lap time, a balanced car is vital, which is a key area that has improved with MP4-19B."

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One, West McLaren Mercedes:

"During the three-week gap in racing, preparation for Hungary and the continued development of MP4-19B has been unrelenting at Woking, Brixworth and Stuttgart. The Hungaroring provides an interesting technical challenge and its characteristics demand a well balanced car."

"As a consequence, a particular focus has of course been optimising set-up using both the CFD aerodynamic analysis techniques powered by West McLaren Mercedes Technology Partner Sun Microsystems and time spent in the wind tunnel facility at the McLaren Technology Centre."

"Following the pace we saw in Germany, we are all looking forward to putting more competitive miles on MP4-19B and continuing to work toward realising the potential it has demonstrated to date."

Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"The last three Grands Prix have shown that the speed of the MP4-19B is there to fight for podium places. Unfortunately this could not be demonstrated in the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix when a rear wing failure prevented Kimi from fighting for victory and David had to be content with fourth place as a result of aerodynamic parts of his car being damaged in incidents not caused by him."

"The forthcoming Hungarian Grand Prix will be the next chance for David, Kimi and our team to show the MP4-19B's competitiveness. The Budapest circuit is completely different from the last three venues. It is rather slow with normally hot ambient temperatures and dust being a big issue. There's only one line and this together with the track's layout make for little or no overtaking opportunities."

"Anyway, Kimi managed to do so last year on his way to a second place finish, and the team is giving it everything to achieve a similar result on the coming weekend. The circuit is the second slowest on the calendar after Monaco and only about 50 percent of a lap is run under full throttle."

-mclaren-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen , Norbert Haug , Martin Whitmarsh
Teams Mercedes , McLaren