The Hungarian circuit, according to Benson and Hedges Jordan Chief Executive Eddie Jordan, is one of the most difficult tracks the team will race at. "It is a very punishing race for the car because the Hungaroring is a slow speed circuit and the...
The Hungarian circuit, according to Benson and Hedges Jordan Chief Executive Eddie Jordan, is one of the most difficult tracks the team will race at. "It is a very punishing race for the car because the Hungaroring is a slow speed circuit and the weather is usually hot, which makes cooling the car very difficult. The track is also very bumpy so finding the perfect set up raises a huge challenge," he explains. Jordan's Managing Director, Trevor Foster, agrees. "The Hungaroring is a difficult circuit," he says. "Levels of grip are very low and there is really only one overtaking opportunity, which means qualifying is more important than ever. As the track is so dirty off the racing line, the driver has to maintain 100% concentration as running wide might affect the following sequence of curves. As a result, it is one of the most mentally tiring circuits."
Heinz-Harald Frentzen hopes to have some better luck this time round and score points for the team, but believes it will be a tough race. "It will be difficult," he says, "But in the past I have had some good results in Hungary. I came fourth last year and had a good race. I had the fastest lap in 1997 and came fifth in 1998 despite having a high fever caused by food poisoning. Only after the race when I flew to hospital in Vienna did the doctors tell me how bad the poisoning was!"
"I like racing at the Hungaroring; I find the last corner the most exciting and enjoyable one of the circuit. It has a 180 degrees radius and is very bumpy on the entry which makes the car nervous. But there is a lot of grip on the apex and you can carry more load than the car is usually able to manage, which makes the lap exciting."
Hockenheim saw both Benson and Hedges Jordan drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jarno Trulli produce excellent performances with both drivers running in the top six. Bad luck prevented the team securing well deserved points; Heinz-Harald suffered from an altenator problem and Trulli who was running in second received a stop go penalty. Trulli added, "'I am still very frustrated by what happened in Hockenheim and the fact that the stop-go penalty I was given ruined my chance to win points, or
even finish on the podium. But I have to forget about this and move on. I am looking forward to Hungary and the challenge for me and the team will be to find a good set up and qualify well up the grid."
Trulli in the Prost qualified in thirteenth position last year and managed to finish the race in eighth. The Italian feels the Hungaroring is often unfairly criticised and added, "Hungary is always described as a 'mickey mouse' track, but I must say I like it. My driving style is well suited to it and I have usually been quite competitive there, even if in the races I have not always had much luck. In 1998 I had a bad qualifying session spinning off and missing dry weather opportunities and I was forced to retire from twelfth in the race with an electronics problem."
Trulli who drove the new EJ10-B in Hockenheim commented on how the new specification may fare in Hungary, "I think the new aero package will work well at the Hungaroring and I am very confident for our performance over the weekend. I would say the circuit falls mid way between Monaco and Zeltweg, and we were strong at both these tracks. It is about time our luck changed and we won the points we deserve, and I am confident this can happen in Hungary."
The Benson and Hedges Jordan team tested at Danielson this week concentrating on aerodynamic work with the new EJ10-B chassis that was debuted at Hockenheim. The test was successful and the team managed to make good progress towards the Hungarian Grand Prix. Jordan's Chief Engineer Tim Holloway commenting on the weeks testing said, " Danielson proved to be a very successful test for us we made several improvements and it a progressive step forward for us."
Holloway added, " The new aero package is designed for low downforce circuits. The Hungaroring may not be a low downforce circuit but like Monaco where we performed well it is a low grip track. I see no reason why we should not be up there with the best and certainly achieve a top six position."