Situated close to the beautiful city of Budapest, the Hungaroring is another relatively tight, twisty circuit possessing few obvious overtaking opportunities. Cars hit maximum speeds of around 275 km/h at the end of the pit straight before braking for a sweeping, right-hand corner. Predictably, such a layout makes the Hungaroring a high downforce circuit - in fact the levels of downforce required exceed those for Monaco. To be competitive, a car must have good front-end grip and be able to change direction quickly, consistently and without understeer. Two major concerns for race engineers are the track's bumpy nature and the likelihood that the surface will be quite dirty when the cars first start running. Past experience has shown that it usually takes some time before it cleans up and becomes "rubbered in".
<B>The Team</B><BR> Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda left Hockenheim feeling more positive after the German Grand Prix. Jacques' podium finish was just the morale boost needed to send the team smiling into their well-earned summer break. The whole race team were given a full week off by the team management to help them recharge their batteries for the last five races of the season.
Looking ahead to the Hungarian Grand Prix, the team are confident that a new package for this race will help them to improve at the Hungaroring.
In recent testing at Valencia, the team did a lot of work in anticipation of Hungary and, using that information, a number of modifications have been made.
Hungary usually means very hot weather - which suits the BAR003 just fine. However, the team will be looking to improve on its recent qualifying performance given the lack of overtaking opportunities at this twisty circuit.
<B>Malcolm Oastler</B>, Technical Director<BR> "The three week break has been great for the team - everyone is relaxed and ready to attack the next race. On the engineering and design side it's been pretty much business as usual. The changes to the car are quite significant so we have worked through the break to ensure that we will be as competitive as possible in Hungary. We look forward to seeing how the development work can translate into a positive race result - hopefully, the kind we enjoyed in Germany! It can be very hot here but reliability isn't too much of a concern. Our focus has to be moving further up the grid if we are to challenge for a points finish."
<B>Olivier Panis</B><BR> "I like the Hungaroring and I've scored points there two or three times - I was sixth in '94 and '95, and fifth in 1996. The circuit is very difficult because it's so dusty on the first day and normally it's very hot all weekend. It's good fun to drive, especially in practice and qualifying, but as for overtaking in the race, no way! This can make for a boring GP. Qualifying in a good grid position and the start are vitally important. If you remember last year Mika Hakkinen got to the first corner first and won the race. Fortunately our launch control is working well and we haven't had any problems on the grid. Generally at this circuit traction control will make quite a difference, I'm sure. It's so easy to go flat out and it helps a lot particularly when the track is really bumpy."