Hard on the heels of the recent German race, Team Sauber Petronas heads for Hungaroring for the Hungarian Grand Prix, the last round before the summer break. Willy Rampf (Technical Director): "Like Monaco, Hungaroring requires...
Hard on the heels of the recent German race, Team Sauber Petronas heads for Hungaroring for the Hungarian Grand Prix, the last round before the summer break.
Willy Rampf (Technical Director):
"Like Monaco, Hungaroring requires maximum downforce and it is also almost impossible to overtake there. Even when they extended the straight two years ago, it didn't really help that. Unlike Monaco, it also has a very high ambient temperature, so we have to run maximum cooling too. We open every aperture up to its maximum, but drag here is much less important than downforce and cooling so that doesn't matter. We'll have some more new aerodynamic parts, so I hope we will be in good shape."
"The other big factor here is tyre performance. Normally the circuit is very sandy, which tends to create understeer because of the low level of grip. But despite that we can usually run softer compounds and I am content that Michelin has the tyre wear issue under complete control. Our strategy will largely be dictated by tyre performance, which will govern starting position, so the key is to find the right balance and tyre choice."
"If we start well up the grid we can consider a three-stop strategy, but that doesn't always pay out if you then get trapped in traffic. That can make a two-stop option more attractive. It all depends on how far up the order you can qualify and whether you can run with the leading bunch."
Jacques Villeneuve (144 GPs, 6 points 2005):
"I enjoy the race in Hungary, and the general atmosphere. The people get excited about the Grand Prix and it's quite a happening city. It's always been fun racing here. It's a strange track because it doesn't really have straight lines, it turns all the time. That's not normally a good thing, but somehow the layout is actually fun and it has a good rhythm. It's difficult to overtake here; Turn One is probably the only place where you have a realistic chance."
"It's also always difficult to get a good balance on the car at the Hungaroring, but our car will suit its characteristics. The high ambient and track temperatures also affect tyre wear. In fact, the hotter it is the harder it is on the drivers, and engines as well, but we are now well prepared and realistically I think that we are in good shape for this race."
Felipe Massa (45 GPs, 8 points 2005):
"I like this place a lot. The track has a nice layout. It looks quite tight, but actually it isn't. There are several medium- to high-speed corners, and that's always nice. The only problem is that it is very, very difficult to overtake here, so you really have to make the most of the car for qualifying and then you can generally defend in the race if necessary."
"I had a brake problem last year but with a good amount of fuel in free practice I could lap in the top 10, so I think this is a good track for me and I hope that it will suit the Sauber Petronas C24. We have Michelin tyres this year, so I think we should go very well here. I'm really looking forward to this weekend."