Hungarian GP: Renault driver preview

Comments from the Renault drivers ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix Jarno Trulli -- Race driver Q: We saw you in some difficulty after the race in Hockenheim: have you recovered fully now? JT: Absolutely: they gave me some precautionary...

Comments from the Renault drivers ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix

Jarno Trulli -- Race driver

Q: We saw you in some difficulty after the race in Hockenheim: have you recovered fully now?

JT: Absolutely: they gave me some precautionary tests in the medical centre, but I was already feeling a lot better just a few hours after the race. I have spent some time in Italy relaxing with my family, and this week I will be busy doing a training camp to prepare for the hot conditions in Budapest: it will be a long race, but I am in the best shape to tackle it.

Q: Jarno, the Hungaroring is often a circuit the drivers enjoy, in spite of producing rather processional races in the past. Is that the case for you?

JT: Hungaroring is a challenging track: it can be tricky because the circuit is very narrow, with a lot of corners in quite a short lap. The track surface also used to be quite bumpy, although that may have changed for this year, and it is often dusty because it is not used much during the season. That makes it a difficult lap, and interesting for the drivers.

Q: What are you expecting from this year's race in Budapest?

JT: Hungary has always been a strange race for me: it is one of those places where I have never managed to score points, even though I like the circuit a lot. This year, I think we have a good car for the track, and the testing on Friday morning will allow us to try a bigger range of set-ups to get it exactly right. I scored my first podium for Renault at the last race, so am more motivated than ever: the team is getting better race by race, and I think we can be on the pace wherever we go.

Fernando Alonso -- Race driver

Q: Fernando, this will be just your second race at the Hungaroring. Is it one you are looking forward to?

FA: Definitely: by the time we get back in the cars, it will feel like a long time since we finished in Hockenheim! The Hungaroring is a complicated circuit, with lots of corners: that means there is a bigger margin for the driver to make a difference. I like the track, the fans and the city, and I think we can have a good weekend.

Q: There have been a number of changes to the circuit since last year: what effect do you think they will have?

FA: I have only seen the changes on paper so far, so it is difficult to say exactly what will happen, but they look good. The first corner will probably be the place where overtaking happens, and it will be a downhill braking area too, which could make things even more complicated. We will have to wait and see on Sunday, though, to judge whether things have really changed.

Q: The team seems to have taken a step forward since Silverstone. Can that be maintained in Hungary?

FA: I think so, yes. The conditions should suit our package, we have seen that the Michelin tyres perform very well in high temperatures, and in theory, the circuit should suit our chassis: there are lots of corners, and that is where our package is strongest, at high and low speed. We will have to work hard all weekend but, with the extra benefit of our testing on Friday, I think that we can push for the podium again.

Allan McNish -- Test driver

Q: Allan, what are the key factors for set-up in Hungary?

AM: Although the circuit has been revised for this year, I think the main characteristics will remain the same: maximum downforce, with a premium on low-speed grip and traction, as well as some critical medium-speed corners on the back of the circuit. For a good lap, the driver will be looking for low-speed grip and balance, as well as a good change of direction.

Q: Will the dirty track hinder your work on Friday morning?

AM: To be honest, the track remains dusty all weekend, but we will certainly be out there when it is at its worst. The circuit will be improving all the way through the weekend, which complicates tyre selection as you are never dealing with the same grip levels when making comparisons. The main thing will be to get in some clean sequences of clear laps and consistent times, with no mistakes from the drivers, in order to get a good picture of where we stand. Come Saturday, though, I think experience from previous years may prove critical in making the final tyre choice.

Q: How competitive do you expect the Renault package to be?

AM: The battle at the front of the field is definitely closer, and more intense, than at the start of the year: with that in mind, I think we have performed impressively as a team to remain among the top teams during the last few races. The Hungaroring is a different type of circuit where, on paper, we should be even stronger: the medium-speed section at the back of the circuit will really allow us to exploit the potential of the car. There is no reason to think we won't be very competitive.


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Allan McNish , Fernando Alonso