The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team drivers preview the forthcoming Hungarian GP. Fernando Alonso: "I am really looking forward to Budapest" Q: Fernando, you took your sixth win of the season in Hockenheim and now you come back to Budapest, where...
The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team drivers preview the forthcoming Hungarian GP.
Fernando Alonso: "I am really looking forward to Budapest"
Q: Fernando, you took your sixth win of the season in Hockenheim and now you come back to Budapest, where it all started for you...
FA: Yes, Hungary was my first victory in Formula 1 in 2003, so I have some very good memories! Actually, it is a circuit I like a lot -- it is quite slow, but there is a good flow to it for the drivers, and you need a good level of physical preparation to cope with the race in very hot conditions.
After taking my first win there, I think the Hungaroring is a little bit more special for me, and I just really enjoy this weekend -- the city, the paddock and the atmosphere as well. I am really looking forward to it.
Q: Tell us about the track...
FA: It is quite complex and the second slowest circuit after Monaco. You need good traction on the exit of the slow corners, but also a stable front end on the car -- you need to be completely in control of the car through the long slow corners, and any understeer will cost a lot of time.
Also, it may be surprising, but the engine is very important here as well -- it needs to be driveable from low revs and to be able to operate in the very high temperatures. It may be a slow track, but it is demanding in a lot of areas.
Giancarlo Fisichella: "Renault is always strong in Hungary"
Q: Giancarlo, the Hungaroring is not a circuit that produces classic racing -- but do you enjoy it?
GF: For sure, I really enjoy racing there. It is a difficult circuit, and there are lots of slow speed corners which make it quite challenging for the drivers and engineers. You need to find a good set up to get good traction in the slow parts, but also a nice change of direction and high general grip, which is not always easy on the dusty track.
The other things to consider are that this is a tough race for the driver: it is a long race, and with the high temperatures, that makes it very demanding mentally but also physically -- there are so many corners that we don't really have time to recover from one lap to the next, so we need good levels of endurance.
Q: How do you expect the R25 to perform there this weekend?
GF: The circuit can be very difficult for the tyres, with a lot of traction and high temperatures, so that is the first thing we need to manage -- to get the correct balance between qualifying performance to get a good grid position, and durability in the race. I know Renault has always been very strong there, and I expect the R25 will be very competitive again this year -- we have a very consistent balance on the car and it is easy to drive, which is important for such a long race.
We have good traction, and the car is strong on the brakes, which is important at a number of places on the track. There are new developments coming too, and we have good positions in qualifying -- near the end of the session, when the track conditions are much better. I think we can expect to be very competitive.