Hungaroring: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone Motorsport Hungarian GP2 Series Preview The Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series heads to the outskirts of Budapest in Hungary and the circuit of the Hungaroring for round seven of the hotly-contested championship which provides the F1...

Bridgestone Motorsport Hungarian GP2 Series Preview

The Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series heads to the outskirts of Budapest in Hungary and the circuit of the Hungaroring for round seven of the hotly-contested championship which provides the F1 drivers of tomorrow.

The 4.38 km Hungaroring track is a tight and twisty challenge for competitors, with the left hand tyres suffering the most during its 14 turn duration. With such a tight course, a car set-up with good turn-in is required and drivers will have to be very aware of their tyre management to extract the maximum from the medium compound Bridgestone Potenza GP2 slick racing tyres used.

In 2007, Adam Carroll (FMS) and Javier Villa (Racing Engineering) won a race apiece here. Villa returns this year with the same team so should provide a good marker to the 25 other aspiring drivers wanting to prove their worth in front of the Formula One paddock.

Heading to Hungary, Giorgio Pantano (Racing Engineering) leads the championship with 63 points from Bruno Senna (iSport) on 48. Romain Grosjean (ART) is in third place on 34 points. The teams' championship is led by iSport with 74 points, from Racing Engineering on 68. Campos are in third position with 49 points.

Quote from Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development

"Budapest is a very slow speed circuit and is therefore one of the tracks on the GP2 calendar requiring the most grip from the car. Overtaking is very difficult there for the drivers due to few heavy braking points. Also, the chicane, at turn six, has a great influence on the drivers' sector two lap times which can affect overall lap times significantly. In the last two corners the balance of the car is a very important factor, as good car balance there will allow the drivers to get up to a good speed on the start/finish straight. GP2 will be using the Bridgestone medium compound at this track and with typically very hot weather conditions tyre management is very important."

Stats & Facts
Number & Spec of tyres for Hungary: 760 (medium)
Pole position time 2007: 1m 27.566s - T Glock (iSport)
Fastest race lap 2007: 1m 28.968s - S Buemi, ART (R2)
Top three 2007 race 1: A Carroll (FMS), K Nakajima (DAMS), A Zuber (iSport)
Top three 2007 race 2: J Villa (Racing Engineering), A Carroll (FMS), R Rodriguez (Piquet Sports)

Bridgestone GP2 Series: Q&A with Javier Villa

The Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series heads to the Hungarian circuit of the Hungaroring for the seventh round of the 2008 GP2 Series. This circuit, located just outside the city of Budapest, features a tight and technical mix of corners over its 4.38 kms. Racing Engineering driver Javier Villa comes to Hungary with two full GP2 Series seasons under his belt. Last year at the Hungaroring he won the Sprint race so he knows his way around this track. Here he answers the following questions:

This is your third season in the GP2 Series what is your aim for 2008?

We feel very strong this year and for me it's also the strongest year of Racing Engineering. I feel we have many chances to fight for races, but still I have suffered from problems on several occasions and hope to overcome these soon and be in the place I should be.

How would you describe the Hungaroring?

It's a track where last year we were very quick. It has a section in the middle where there are many curves following each other, where the driver and the car have to work very hard and because of all the ups and downs it also complicates not only the braking, but also the traction.

What's the secret to a quick lap here?

A fast lap is never easy, but at this track it's special as you feel you are much more on the limit than normal. Most probably due to the constant work you have with the car.

How should you use your tyres for a fast qualifying lap?

It's important to warm them up properly and take advantage of the first laps as they always require a bit of time to warm up.

What do you need to consider for your race strategy in terms of tyre management and pit stops?

This is difficult in GP2 as we cannot play with the fuel load in regards to the weight and therefore it's mainly influenced by the race situations and the position you are racing in. Of course we are working on the strategy and take many factors into consideration, but in the end we have to be flexible in order to take advantage of unexpected situations in the race.

You scored one of your sprint race wins last year at the Hungaroring - how good are your memories of this event from last season?

Obviously these are very nice memories. From the first lap, Adam Carroll, winner of the Saturday race, was right behind me and although he pushed hard, I was able to keep him behind me. It was a sweet victory as we were fighting all race long, and this makes a race win much more exciting.

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Giorgio Pantano , Adam Carroll , Bruno Senna , Romain Grosjean , Javier Villa
Teams DAMS , Racing Engineering