1998 Hungarian Grand Prix - Hungaroring Tuesday 11th August: PREVIEW Alan Jenkins, Technical Director: 'The Hungaroring is the slowest of the circuits we visit - in terms of top speed it is slower than Monaco. There are, however, some quite...
1998 Hungarian Grand Prix - Hungaroring Tuesday 11th August: PREVIEW
Alan Jenkins, Technical Director:
'The Hungaroring is the slowest of the circuits we visit - in terms of top speed it is slower than Monaco. There are, however, some quite quick corners. It is difficult to overtake, therefore qualifying is very important. The circuit is rarely used and has little or no grip at the start of practice so the early part of Friday morning becomes a waiting game. As a result, anyone new to the start of practice in Hungary could be forgiven for thinking that the teams have all gone on strike over the latest Technical Regulation proposals. Because no one wants to act as road sweeper for the rest by going out early, nothing much happens for some considerable time. The trouble is everyone is eventually left with exactly the same situation but with less time to work with. The track is dusty, especially if conditions are dry, and it's not uncommon for sand to blow on to circuit or be scattered around by cars putting a wheel or two off. Because the track is so gripless, tyre choice is more difficult than normal and probably has to be left to the last possible moment - right at the cut-off before Saturday qualifying. The unusual and changing nature of the Hungaroring can sometimes upset the form book.'
Martin Whitaker, Ford European Director of Motorsport:
'We cannot hide from the fact that our competitive performance is currently not meeting our expectations. The objectives for the whole team remain clear, but to address them it is important that everyone focuses on the tasks ahead. We at Ford will continue to improve what we know to be a competitive engine. The Ford Zetec-R V10 has a wide range of performance that is now more easily tailored to the demands of both driver and track, but there is still considerably more reliability and development potential in the engine.'
Rubens Barrichello: Car no.18: SF-2/04
'Physically the Hungaroring puts a big strain on drivers because it's very bumpy and because of the twisty layout. There are so many gear changes, so much braking and it's all about constantly putting the power down then getting the power off. The car should be suited to the layout of the track - after all it's Monaco on a larger scale. And just like Monaco it's vital to get a good qualifying position here because overtaking is so difficult.'
Jos Verstappen: Car no.19: SF-2/03
'I like going to Hungary, the atmosphere is terrific and Budapest is a nice city. I quite like the Hungaroring circuit layout, a mixture of several slow corners and a couple of reasonably fast ones. In a way it's a bit like a go-kart track! I'd prefer it if the straight were a little longer because the rest of the track is so windy. Finding grip is very important at Hungaroring because it is a very slippery circuit - i.e. low level grip.'