Eric Boullier on the Hungarian GP - “In Hungary, we will try and get back on track”
Germany – not the result the team was hoping for?
No, it wasn’t the result we were looking for. We came to the Nürburgring with some developments to the car, which gave us higher hopes going into the weekend. Vitaly put in a determined drive, while lady luck did not favour Nick when we was working his way back up the field after falling back to 22nd position. It was another point gained for us, but really we were well below par, and it was not the weekend we expected it to be. It was not good enough, and at the Hungarian GP we will try and get back on track, although there will be no significant revisions to the car until after the summer break.
We now move to Hungary, a race that was introduced back in 1986 – how important is this fixture to the F1 calendar?
Yes, Hungary has been a big part of Formula One for 25 years now. It was a completely groundbreaking move to make it a race venue back in the mid-1980s, and I think the decision to do so has been vindicated. It put F1 on the map, and behind the Iron Curtain for the first time; it has helped raise its profile in a part of Europe where the sport had not travelled. We know that when we get to Hungary there will be fans everywhere; the Hungarian people love their motorsport and we’re really looking forward to getting our campaign back on-track in front of a motor racing-mad crowd. Make no mistake, we will try to give the LRGP fans in Budapest something to cheer about this weekend, even if the podium looks a bit far from us at the moment.
It’s the final Grand Prix before the summer break – what are your expectations?
I’ve expected improvement from our car for a number of races now, and we are making improvement, but we have got to get our heads down and make bigger strides. It’s a competitive field out there, with Force India and Sauber also competing in higher positions, so we’ve got to raise our game starting in Hungary.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not satisfied with where we are
We’re halfway through the season – what have you made of it, and what’s to come?
Well, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not satisfied with where we are, no one in the team is. We started the season well, but that feels like a while ago now and we have to face the facts, which are that we’ve been off the pace and we are trying hard to put that right. We brought some developments to the car in Germany, which didn’t produce nearly enough so we are now all eyes forward to Hungary to ensure we have the opportunity to head on our summer breaks on a high.
Nick Heidfeld: “We want to have a good result"
2011 Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest, Nick Heidfeld tells us why the Hungaroring is one of his favourite circuits.
Are you looking forward to Budapest?
Absolutely, it’s one of my favourite circuits. I enjoy driving there and seem to get on well each time I race there so I hope this weekend is no different. I’ve had two F1 podiums at the Hungaroring before, so I’ve got good memories from the place. Normally the conditions are pretty hot, but we’ve just had a quick look at the forecast and actually there is a chance of some rain! I also know that a lot of Polish fans usually attend this race, so it will be a little extra motivation for me driving what was originally Robert’s car.
The circuit has few overtaking chances so qualifying could play a pivotal role again…
It could, and I’m sure it will. That said, the DRS should help a bit. It’s a very twisty, tight circuit with tarmac that normally gives the cars high grip so it’s good fun to drive and I’m looking forward to it.
What kind of result at the Hungaroring would give you satisfaction heading into the August break?
What’s most important is that we see ourselves moving in the right direction. Hopefully we will have some new parts, which will help get our pace up. We want to have a good result, especially before the August break because it would do a lot for our morale to go into the second half of the season on a high. But, if for whatever reason it doesn’t work out and I still know that we’re moving forward and our pace is good, then it wouldn’t be the end of the world. But, no two ways about it, we’re aiming high - we have to, because this is what we’re here for.
By: Lotus Renault