Budapest will provide the backdrop for the seventh round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series, to be held at the Hungarian Grand Prix on 30 July - 1 August. Bridgestone's soft specification dry tyre will be in use at this technical venue. The...
Budapest will provide the backdrop for the seventh round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series, to be held at the Hungarian Grand Prix on 30 July - 1 August. Bridgestone's soft specification dry tyre will be in use at this technical venue.
The Hungaroring is the second shortest circuit on the 2010 GP2 calendar at 4.381 km and is a relatively slow track, the teams requiring high traction in the numerous low speed corners. It is a unique circuit which includes some similar challenges to Monaco's street course, whilst still being a purpose built venue. The track is narrow making it difficult to overtake here, and car balance and mechanical grip is key.
Bridgestone's soft compound Potenza racing slicks are well suited to the track characteristics, although the possible high temperatures create a challenge in terms of tyre usage and degradation.
The 2009 GP2 Series champion Nico Hulkenberg and Giedo van der Garde both won races in Budapest last season on Bridgestone's soft compound GP2 dry tyre.
Quote from Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
"With limited overtaking opportunities at the Hungaroring it is essential for drivers to perform well in qualifying and to gain on-track advantages through good tyre management. Turn one provides the best chance for overtaking, with another potential passing point being at turn two. If a driver makes a mistake in the final complex, which is a difficult part of the track to master, then they could lose a position on the start finish straight. Last year our soft compound GP2 dry tyre performed well at Budapest with the drivers experiencing reasonable tyre wear and degradation."
Bridgestone interview Pastor Maldonado and talk tyres...
Currently leading the 2010 GP2 Series drivers' championship, Pastor Maldonado talks to Bridgestone about his successes on-track with the Rapax team, his experiences in GP2 and what the future holds.
After another strong performance in Hockenheim last weekend, the Venezuelan driver is currently 21 points ahead of his closest rival Sergio Perez from Barwa Addax Team.
Bridgestone: It has been a great season for you so far in terms of results; what are the main factors this year that have contributed to your consistent performance?
Pastor: It is a team job, we are working together and that is the difference. We have a good car, maybe not the best on the grid or the quickest one, but it is very consistent. I feel good in the car and I can always push. I'm happy. We are working hard to develop the car even now during mid season and our strength is the races, our pace is incredible. We have good team strategies and time the moment right for our tyre changes.
Bridgestone: During the last four years that you have been in GP2, has it been good to work with Bridgestone as the sole tyre supplier?
Pastor: Bridgestone has always been good: the engineers are good guys and their tyres are always consistent and very high quality. They give us a good chance to go out and develop our car; the tyres are also very consistent between the teams. It's a nice experience to work with Bridgestone.
Bridgestone: How important is Bridgestone's technical support in terms of helping drivers understand tyre usage?
Pastor: It's so important to have the opinion of the Bridgestone engineers, because they can tell us their thoughts and together we can find the solutions to some of our problems. It's one of the most important things, everything we do in the car we do to help the tyres, help grip. It is very important to have a good feeling in the car, understand what the engineers tell us and translate it to the car.
Bridgestone: With considerable support from Venezuela is there any more news you can tell us on your hopes to move to Formula One in 2011?
Pastor: My country Venezuela is my main sponsor and all my sponsors have been pushing to have me in Formula One and they have supported me all through my career. It is now very important to concentrate in the second half of the season; it would be great for me to give them the championship this year. My manager is working to get me a strong team in Formula One next year, to get some points and do well; I think we can get a good place.
Bridgestone: Thank you Pastor, best of luck for the rest of the season and your plans for 2011.