Hungarian GP: Sauber preview

The Hungaroring has been modified this year which promises more overtaking manoeuvres. But before both Sauber Petronas drivers will be able to check this out on the race weekend they are going to visit a horse park and see how they get along with...

The Hungaroring has been modified this year which promises more overtaking manoeuvres. But before both Sauber Petronas drivers will be able to check this out on the race weekend they are going to visit a horse park and see how they get along with some less horse power than usual.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"After Monte Carlo, the Hungaroring requires the most downforce. The two tracks are actually quite similar even though they look very different. Neither has any really high speed corners, and the straights are relatively short. This year there have been some changes, however."

"The pit straight is longer and followed by a hairpin turn, and the corners immediately prior to the last one have been altered because in the past the kerbs there have damaged chassis quite badly when the drivers ran over them. Overtaking used to be also very, very difficult. It remains to be seen whether the increased straight might make much difference to the level of downforce you run, and if overtaking opportunities might be improved."

"The surface is bumpy in places and the ambient and track temperatures are usually very high, so both factors can make things tough for the drivers. Tyre choice will also be very important, as the degradation is always a significant factor because of the heat and the track surface."

"You need a well balanced car with high downforce and good mechanical grip. Despite of the probably improved overtaking opportunities pitwork might still take on even greater significance because almost all of the passing here was done in the past during the refuelling stops."

Nick Heidfeld (62 GPs, 2 points 2003):

"Hungary has given me some of my best memories of racing. I won the F3000 race there in 1998, and I remember Montoya and his manager David Sears screaming at me in the pit lane because they said I'd blocked him in qualifying. Montoya then started the race from the dirty side of the grid and before the race his mechanics swept the track ahead of him. My engineer David Brown told one of our mechanics to go over and ask if we could borrow their broom..."

"In 1999 I won the F3000 title in Hungary. After the race we went out to celebrate at a place called LeRoy Beach close to the Danube but were told we couldn't go in because Sylvester Stallone was having a private party there. We had to wait until he and his bodyguards left before they let us in!"

"Hungaroring is quite a difficult circuit. There are a lot of corners and overtaking is very difficult. I'm going to be interested to see if the changes have helped that aspect."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen (153 GPs, 7 points 2003):

"I've known the Hungaroring since 1994, and since then I've only missed the 2002 race. It's not a bad circuit from the fun point of view, though overtaking is very difficult there. It's one of the most difficult tracks in the world in that respect. You just have to try to grab any opportunity if the guy ahead makes a mistake. It's easier than Monaco, but otherwise it's very tough."

"I've never been on the podium there. I had the chance to win the 1997 race before I had a problem with my Williams's fuel filler flap, so my best result was fourth for Jordan in 1999."

Visit of Lazar Horse Park

Just before Nick Heidfeld and Heinz-Harald Frentzen will start their engines at the Hungaroring they are going to visit a typical Hungarian horse park on Thursday, August 21, in the morning. At the Lazar Horse Park the drivers and other team members will watch a horse show and join in for funny games. A Hungarian style lunch will complete the programme.

-sauber-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Nick Heidfeld , David Brown
Teams Sauber , Williams , Jordan