The BMW WilliamsF1 Team heads to Hungary for the Grand Prix on the 19th August with three victories, two pole positions and five fastest laps from the first 12 races. However, the team is aware this race will present it with a difficult task, as...
The BMW WilliamsF1 Team heads to Hungary for the Grand Prix on the 19th August with three victories, two pole positions and five fastest laps from the first 12 races. However, the team is aware this race will present it with a difficult task, as the low-downforce Hungaroring track is almost equal to Monaco in being tight, twisty and one where a good grid position is vital, as overtaking opportunities are very rare. The Hungarian race has been one of highs and lows for WilliamsF1. The team won the first race there in 1986 with Nelson Piquet and has won seven of the 15 races. Meanwhile Nigel Mansell clinched his World Championship there in 1992, but in 1987 started from pole, led for 70 of the 76 laps and then lost a rear wheel in sight of the chequered flag.
“It is a small, narrow circuit, but it is very challenging for the drivers as there is one corner after another and no time to relax. As it is also usually hot, it is a physically demanding race. It is a race where having a good car is a deciding factor and if it is hot our tyres should work well. Budapest is a beautiful city and it is a shame we don’t have enough time over a race weekend to enjoy the beauty of it.”
Juan Pablo Montoya
“This is only my second visit to the Hungaroring. Last time in ‘98 I finished third, but one of the things I remember most is the heat. Because of this you get hot driving the car, as you are working all the time with no long straights to really cool down. It is a tight, slow track but a very challenging one and obviously one where a good qualifying position is important. As for the city of Budapest, it is really different and has a special charm - I like it a lot.”
Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer)
“Hungaroring is a complete contrast to the last race in Hockenheim. It is dominated by slow to medium speed corners, requiring maximum levels of downforce and tyre grip. Mechanical set-ups are usually geared towards maximizing slow speed grip and traction, but maintaining a good change in direction for the high-speed chicanes. Michelin are taking two good tyre options that we have had experience with. Degredation should not be a major concern because the tyres do not see the high speed loading of other circuits, but the effects of traction can be an issue. Qualifying well is as important as Monaco, because overtaking here is extremely difficult, even if you have a 2 or 3 second car advantage. This places top priority on the race strategy for a good race result.”
Gerhard Berger (BMW Motorsport Director)
“The Hungaroring is supposed to be the last venue this year with a circuit layout that does not suit our package. The outcome there is the more downforce you have, the better your lap times are. This means Budapest is an extreme contrast to Hockenheim or Spa, where we will go with higher expectations. Nevertheless it is our task to develop a package good enough to score for points under every circumstance. This also includes finishing races regularly with both cars. An improvement in reliability is our main target for the season’s final sprint. A decisive factor in Hungary will also be how much of an advantage Bridgestone’s experience will be compared to our tyre partner Michelin’s.”