The BMW WilliamsF1 Team narrowed the gap to Ferrari during the last Grand Prix at Hockenheim, while extending its advantage over McLaren. This performance, ahead of the final five races of the season, has made the team confident of strengthening...
The BMW WilliamsF1 Team narrowed the gap to Ferrari during the last Grand Prix at Hockenheim, while extending its advantage over McLaren. This performance, ahead of the final five races of the season, has made the team confident of strengthening the position as the leading contender to Ferrari.
While the August break has provided some respite for the drivers and those involved with on-track testing, activity levels at the team's Oxfordshire base in Wantage, and at BMW HQ in Munich have been intense, with a particular focus on specifying a race trim to suit the traditionally hot conditions anticipated at the Hungaroring.
"This break has been very welcome, to simply recharge my batteries and refresh and strengthen myself for the last five races. The motivation is not so much about winning second place in the Drivers' Championship behind my brother Michael, but about our intention to catch up with Ferrari before the end of the season. If we don't manage to achieve this, it will make next season very difficult. Budapest will indicate how strong we could be in the future. Personally, I enjoy the Hungaroring track because you've got to work so hard in the car, which is in many ways similar to Monaco. This puts the emphasis on my personal fitness, as much as the car's reliability."
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"Hungary is a highlight in the season as far as I am concerned because I like Budapest, although mainly because I like the city, rather than its circuit. The Hungaroring has a fiddly layout, perhaps more like a kart track than a true F1 circuit. Last year, which was my debut there in a Formula One car, wasn't exciting but we definitely have a better package this season, which gives me more confidence returning here. Even if it's not one of my favourite tracks, I definitely intend to make the best of it. Having the last two races back-to-back was very demanding, and I think everyone in F1 will have appreciated the break we had before this Grand Prix. I spent most of my time in Miami relaxing with my family and friends, and I now feel ready for the last part of the season."
(Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1):
"The Hungaroring is dominated by slow to medium speed corners, requiring maximum levels of downforce and tyre grip. The mechanical set-ups are usually geared towards maximising slow speed grip and traction while maintaining a good change in direction for the high speed chicanes. The BMW WilliamsF1 Team took a good step forward at the German GP and we hope to continue this trend in Hungary.
"We have had previous experience of both of the tyres available to us for this race and they appear to be quite durable. Degradation can be a concern due to high track temperatures, excessive traction and corner loading, and accordingly we will be allowing for that. For this reason we will spend the time during Friday practice carefully evaluating the two compounds.
"A strong qualifying in Hungary is important, as in Monaco, because overtaking here is extremely difficult, even if you have a large performance advantage. As a result, careful emphasis is put on the race strategy for a good result."
(BMW Motorsport Director)
"The Budapest circuit is really special. It is a low speed track with very little grip which demands plenty of downforce. Temperatures are traditionally high and make it challenging for men, machines and tyres alike. This year's Monaco Grand Prix showed that we have improved our performance on tight circuits. So in Budapest our aim will be to not lose points to McLaren in order to consolidate second place in the Formula One Constructors' World Championship. We have also got a little bit closer to Ferrari during the race and we hope to continue this trend. I think the whole team is looking forward to the Hungarian Grand Prix both because of our strong result at Hockenheim, as well as having the benefit of a little break."