This Week in Ford Racing August 10, 1999 Formula One After the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, the Stewart-Ford team is heading to Hungary for the 11th Grand Prix of the season. Cosworth Racing introduced upgrades of the Ford Cosworth V10...
This Week in Ford Racing August 10, 1999
After the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, the Stewart-Ford team is heading to Hungary for the 11th Grand Prix of the season. Cosworth Racing introduced upgrades of the Ford Cosworth V10 CR-1 engines for both the Austrian and German Grands Prix. Nick Hayes is Cosworth Racing's Formula One Programme Director and here he talks about the challenges of the Hungaroring and engine development in general.
NICK HAYES, Cosworth Programme Director WHAT MAKES THE HUNGARORING A CHALLENGE FOR THE FORMULA ONE TEAMS? 'Hungaroring is an interesting circuit. It's not used very often so the surface is always very dusty and dirty when the Formula One cars start running on the Friday. As a result, it's difficult for the teams to find an optimum set-up for the cars because as the circuit gets cleaner it becomes faster - so you can't be sure whether it was the changes to the car or the changes to the circuit surface which made the cars go quicker. The Hungaroring is also one of the slowest circuits on the Formula One calendar with a lot of corners and few straights so it's not hard on the engines unlike Hockenheim where there is a lot of fast running at full throttle. However it often gets hot and because it's a slow circuit the cooling of the radiators is slower because the speed of the air is slower. What Cosworth Racing will really be working on for the Hungarian Grand Prix is driveability of the engines so Rubens and Johnny can control the car better out of the slow corners.'
YOU INTRODUCED THE SERIES 3 VERSION OF THE FORD COSWORTH V10 CR-1 ENGINE FOR THE AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX AND SERIES 4 MADE ITS DEBUT DURING QUALIFYING AT HOCKENHEIM - DO YOU EXPECT FURTHER UPGRADES BEFORE THE END OF THE SEASON AND WILL THERE BE ONE FOR THE HUNGARIAN GRAND? 'We do expect further upgrades before the end of the year. We are always involved in engine building, planning, race support and engineering. However when you look a bit deeper it's different. Within Cosworth Racing we have lots of areas which are shared between Formula One, CART and other motorsport groups. So there is a proportion of people who work full time on Formula One and a proportion of people who will sometimes work on Formula One and sometimes on CART - so the real number is probably between 260-270 people.'
HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU BRING TO THE FORMULA ONE RACES? 'At races and tests, we bring a race support manager, who looks after the Cosworth Racing team on site. We also bring a number of engineers who look after various aspects of the engine. They look at the data while the cars are on the track via the telemetry systems to they can optimize performance in the car and look after any potential problems. We also bring a couple of engine fitters who work physically with the engine. We also have a person; we call the 'odd bod'. This person is different at every race and normally works in either the engine build or dyno areas back at the factory. It gives somebody a chance to see racing in real life which is good for us and good for them - because they return with more direct experience.'
HAVE YOU STARTED WORKING ON NEXT YEAR'S FORMULA ONE ENGINE YET? 'We started working on next years engine a while ago and it's looking good so far.'
Rubens Barrichello produced the fastest lap time overall at the Silverstone test last week. His time of 1:26.47 was two tenths of a second quicker than McLaren driver David Coulthard. Rubens was joined by Johnny Herbert and Luciano Burti for the three-day test. The three drivers carried out evaluation on new suspension configurations, engine endurance running and tyre testing as part of the team's preparations for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
RUBENS BARRICHELLO Car No.16 (SF3-04) HOW PHYSICALLY DEMANDING IS THE TWISTY HUNGARORING LAYOUT? 'Breathing can be a problem. There is not much respite for a driver because there are so many turns. I have specifically worked on improving my breathing for the race through aerobic work and running. Mentally the race is tough because you are concentrating harder than what you would on a layout that has long straights. You are very busy in the cockpit at the Hungaroring.'
HOW IMPORTANT IS QUALIFYING? 'Qualifying is everything in Hungary because there are very few overtaking opportunities. The only chance you have is on the pit straight. Strategy, particularly tyre choice will be a big factor - a straight choice between consistency and performance. At the Silverstone test we improved the car's mechanical grip which should put us in good shape for qualifying and the race.'
JOHNNY HERBERT Car No.17 (SF3-05) WHAT SET-UP REQUIREMENTS DO YOU NEED FOR THE CIRCUIT? 'The set-up for the Hungaroring is pretty close to that we use at Monaco. You carry a lot of wing because there are a lot of slow corners so you need good traction and grip. You also have to find a good balance so the car can ride the kerbs effectively. The circuit is bumpy in places so the ride of the car is important, particularly with the way these cars behave on grooved tyres.'
HOW DO YOU RATE YOUR CHANCES THIS WEEKEND? 'I was third in 1997 and fourth in 1995 so I've had some good results here. I have always been comfortable on circuits that have a lot of low speed corners. We found improvement at the Silverstone test so I'm confident of repeating my performance in Austria where I was on the pace all weekend and qualified sixth. I'm more comfortable with the car than I was at the start of the season - I just need some luck in the race.'
PAUL STEWART, SGP Chief Operating Officer 'Following the two non-finishes we experienced at Hockenheim a lot of time and energy has been spent on improving our reliability for the Hungarian Grand Prix. We are confident that the car works well in high downforce aerodynamic trim so we will be looking to qualify both cars at the front of the grid. A points finish for both Rubens and Johnny is a realistic target.'
MARTIN WHITAKER, Director, Ford Racing, Europe The Stewart-Ford team had a successful test at Silverstone last week where we completed further extensive running of the Series 4 engine. We finished the test with the fastest time of the week, so it looks like we've made progress with both the car and the engine package. It was also good to get another view of the engine from Luciano Burti who reported the same improvement in performance as both Rubens and Johnny. The intention is to run the Series 4 engine on Saturday only in Hungary and Series 3 engines during Friday and Sunday's race.'