Hungarian GP: Honda preview

Formula One heads east next weekend to Budapest for Round 11 of the World Championship, the Hungarian Grand Prix. After a dramatic race in the cooler, wetter climes of Germany last week, the Hungaroring is expected to bask in ambient...

Formula One heads east next weekend to Budapest for Round 11 of the World Championship, the Hungarian Grand Prix.

After a dramatic race in the cooler, wetter climes of Germany last week, the Hungaroring is expected to bask in ambient temperatures of up to 35 degrees celsius. The beautiful city of Budapest is always a favourite pitstop on the Formula One calendar and the Honda Racing F1 Team look forward to returning to the scene of their first win one year ago where Jenson Button scored his first victory.

Shuhei Nakamoto - Senior Technical Director:

"At our test in Jerez this week we worked on our set-up for Hungary and conducted an evaluation of our aerodynamic updates for this race. I am pleased to say that we found a good baseline. The Hungaroring provides a mixture of high and low speed turns and so mechanical grip is very important. The extremely hot conditions provided a good opportunity to test the engine and again the result was positive with good reliability. We understand that next weekend will be very hot indeed and so Jerez was a good acclimatisation opportunity for the challenging air and track temperatures we will face there. We hope to be in a position to score a point or two."

Jenson Button describes a lap of the track

"The Hungaroring is a track with good rhythm and a good mix of slow-speed and high-speed turns. It was never really one of my favourite races before, but for obvious reasons that all changed last year. It will always be a special place as the scene of my first win. Obviously it will be quite a different race for us this year but hopefully we can keep up the steady progress we have been making and take another step forward. Here is what a lap of the 70 lap, 4.384 km Hungaroring is like to drive:

"When we exit the final corner ready to start a clean flying lap you can always really feel the drag due to the high downforce configuration required for this twisting circuit. We arrive at the first corner at 290 kph and we change down five gears to 2nd gear, turning through a full 180 degrees as the circuit drops away onto the short sprint towards the second gear left-hand turn two. This opens out into a very fast right-hand kink at the lowest point of the circuit."

"The straight that follows climbs steadily towards turn four, which is a pretty exhilarating left-hander taken in 5th gear. This corner has seen many drivers come unstuck because it is so very quick and if you get it wrong you go straight on into the gravel. Another short burst before the tight right hander turn five which is one of the very few potential overtaking spots. We take this in 3rd gear."

"As we accelerate out of turn five we only reach 5th gear before braking hard once more and literally throwing the car over the kerbs at the right-left chicane. We stay on the right-hand side of the circuit in preparation for the quick entry to the next left-hander, which is taken in 3rd gear. This is quickly followed by the 3rd gear right-hander leading into a fast and flowing combination of right-left-right and we have to take care not to exit too wide onto the Astroturf at the last right-hander."

"Another very short straight leads to a slow-speed right-hander in 2nd gear and then into another 180 degree left-hander, again in 2nd gear, climbing past the pit entry and into the final 180 degree right-hander in 3rd gear which brings us all the way back to the main straight again."

"A lap of the Hungaroring is quite tiring because there is no respite and no opportunity to relax your hands, so you are gripping the steering wheel hard the whole time. Although last year's race proved a rather wet exception, the Hungarian Grand Prix is typically a hot one and the relatively low average speed means the airflow over the driver is reduced, so you never really get the chance to cool down. It's quite a physical challenge to be honest."

Rubens Barrichello:

"Next weekend is going to be a hot one! Possibly one of the hottest Hungarian Grands Prix. Our test in Jerez this week was a good opportunity to acclimatise to those conditions, both personally and for the car. We have some new developments - aero and mechanical - which worked well at the test and we seem to have found a little more performance, so we will see how they translate to the Hungaroring. I have had some good races there, winning once in 2002 and then a couple more podium finishes as well. I'm looking forward to it as it's a track I quite enjoy. I hope we can fight for a good result."

-credit: honda

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Rubens Barrichello , Shuhei Nakamoto
Teams Honda Racing F1 Team