Toyota's Allan McNish looks back at the Hungarian Grand Prix. "People say that pole position is more important at Hungaroring than it is at Monte Carlo, a circuit with similar characteristics. The reasoning is that if you are not on the clean...
Toyota's Allan McNish looks back at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
"People say that pole position is more important at Hungaroring than it is at Monte Carlo, a circuit with similar characteristics. The reasoning is that if you are not on the clean side of the track you can easily lose places at the start, while the situation at Monaco is not as tricky."
"Certainly I can see the thinking because if Hungary did one thing, it showed once again just how important it is to qualify near the front in Formula 1. Overtaking is almost impossible and that is basically the long and the short of it. I started the race half a second behind Pedro De la Rosa's Jaguar and a second behind Mika. That's the position in which I finished 75 laps later."
"Unfortunately for us, Mika and I could only qualify 17th and 18th and we were always going to have a very difficult Sunday afternoon from there. We managed to find a tenth of a second between Saturday free practice and the race, but the other teams made a bigger step forward."
"The car actually felt best on my first qualifying run but I suffered from understeer. I made a set-up change to try to eliminate it, but things were worse. Then we made another change and the understeer was more pronounced still, so we backed off on one of the changes and, guess what? The understeer was worse again... Consequently, I felt we were always running a little behind, chasing the circuit if you like."
"It was hard to find a good balance on the car and as a new team we have to work more on maximising the car in qualifying specification. Despite all difficulties I have to say that I am really relieved that we were able to finish the race with both TF102s! The team deserved that both cars saw the chequered flag again and I hope this will happen more often in the future."
"Some drivers say that they do not like the Hungaroring and, certainly, Budapest followed by Spa Francorchamps couldn't be two more different kinds of circuit. Spa is very open and flowing, whereas Hungary is the opposite."
"I think it has to be said though that you do need a variety of places to make up a championship. Hungaroring has proven to be a difficult track to race on. But everybody certainly seems to enjoy a good night out in Budapest and furthermore it is a good circuit for the spectators. We shouldn't forget about them and in Hungary they get quite close to the cars. From almost every point around the circuit you can see approximately 70% of the track."
"There is no testing between Hungary and Belgium for me and I'm actually going to take the opportunity to return to the UK for a few days. I've sold my house and I've got a few things to sort out. After that I will be delving into my cupboard to find my boots and my raincoat before I head for Spa! What with all the flooding in central Europe I was quite surprised that we didn't see any water over the three days at Hungaroring. Somehow though, I doubt I'll be saying the same thing when I get back from the Belgian Ardennes which are famous for their rain showers."