Hungarian Grand Prix Preview
From Silverstone, we make our way to Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix which is the final race before the summer break.
In this post you can see the teams and drivers talking ahead of the race weekend.
Hungarian Grand Prix Preview – Circuit Info
Circuit Name: Hungaroring
First Race: 1986
The Hungarian Grand Prix has been a permanent fixture on the Formula 1 calendar since 1986 making it the 10th track in history to host more than 30 Grand Prix’s!
The circuit was constructed just 9 months prior to the first race.
When the timing sensor on the start-finish straight failed at the end of qualifying in 2009. The cars crossed the line at the end of Q3 and no one knew the qualifying order! Although, there was a back-up sensor which meant that none of the timing data had been lost…. within minutes, it was revealed that Fernando Alonso had taken pole position.
What We Love
The uncompromising nature of the track – there are 14 corners and only one straight in excess of 600 metres (0.373 miles) which makes this a brutal workout for the drivers!
In the height of the summer, the temperatures exceed 35 degrees and this race tests both man and machine – putting them on the limit.
Did you know?
Two World Champions have been crowned at the Hungaroring!
Nigel Mansell in 1992 and Michael Schumacher in 2001.
Hungarian Grand Prix Preview – Teams and Drivers
Toto Wolff – Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
Toto Wolff – “We have now reached the halfway point of the 2017 season and both championships are very much in balance right now.”
“The points tables show that we have a small buffer in the constructors’ race and a small deficit on the drivers’ side – but, that’s not important at this stage. There are no prizes being awarded at half-time.”
“Our approach is to take it weekend by weekend, to build our performance at each circuit and in a calm and logical way to keep pushing. The time for worrying about points will come later.”
“What I see when I walk the corridors of our factories is an energy and a determination like never before, it really is inspiring to see how our team is tackling this championship battle.”
“The first half of the season was a mixed one for us, from the first test – it was clear that we had a real fight on our hands with Ferrari and soon, we could see that this might become one of the classic seasons.”
“It was a bumpy start for us and we didn’t quite find the right set-up window to make our car function and then we had a bad weekend in Monaco. Like always, you learn much more from your defeats than your victories.”
“We used that learning in the right way and from that point, we started to turn things around.”
“Our drivers have been one of our biggest strengths so far – Lewis has delivered some consummate performances this year in China, Canada and Silverstone in particular.”
“The win in front of his home crowd was emotionally charged and I am sure that he is carrying that energy with him right now.”
“Budapest has always been a good circuit for him and he knows better than anyone else that the past is no guarantee of future performance and it’s about having the right preparation, hard work and delivering on the day.”
“In the other car, we have Valtteri who has embodied Finnish resolve and fighting spirit – he has a fierce work ethic with a steely approach and a great, natural talent.”
“He threw himself into the challenge of switching teams and we are now starting to see his full potential reveal itself. I have the feeling he is getting better with each weekend and is already a more complete driver than at the start of the season and I’m excited to see how he will continue to develop for the rest of the season.”
“Budapest is the final race before the summer break, we enjoyed a fantastic weekend in Silverstone and we now have to do the job.”
“Our rivals will be determined to fight back strongly and we have to anticipate that, there is no complacency at all at Mercedes and just a resolute determination to get the job done.”
Hungarian Grand Prix Preview
Daniel Ricciardo – “Hungary 2014 was a cool victory. Of course I love winning but that was an awesome race. In order to win, I had to pass Hamilton and Alonso – pretty much the best two, so that was cool.”
“I love that track and it has always been a good one for me. I’ve had some great weekends there even before Formula One.”
“The Hungarian Grand Prix is always at the point of the season where summer is approaching so I’m always in a pretty good place and the car is normally getting better as well. It all kind of comes good by the end of July.”
“We’ve got lots more grip this year so it’ll be a bit more fun. The second sector is going to be amazing. That’s one of my favourite sectors in F1.”
“If Sunday is hot it’ll definitely be a physically demanding race, so I can’t make the mistake again of eating too much meat on Saturday night.”
“This track means elbows out for sure as there are three key places where you can overtake. I’ve made some good moves in Turn 1 in the past. Turn 2 you can go inside or outside, as both lanes work and the hairpin is fun too.”
“On Saturday night I normally plan a meal with a few of the guys from the team. That’s always a good one as it’s the end of the first half of the season and the atmosphere is cool so I’ll definitely been seen on the streets of Budapest.”
Max Verstappen – “It’s always a bit too early to say how we’ll do in Hungary but we’re constantly improving, trying to get a better balance and more downforce on the car. Luckily there are not too many long straights.”
“It’s a great track, especially in an F1 car. It’s actually quite narrow and with high speeds it’s really fun to drive so I’m very much looking forward to it. I wouldn’t say it’s Monaco without walls, but it’s definitely a bit more narrow than other circuits we go to.”
“We do have more grip this year so maybe you have to do a few different lines compared to the previous year, but all in all that’s manageable and quite straightforward.”
“We’re always staying in the city centre for the race week so we do get to see a little bit of Budapest. Unfortunately we never have time for a lot of sightseeing but I’ll hopefully have one day to walk around and get to know the city a bit more after the race.”
Hungarian Grand Prix Preview
Fernando Alonso – “On paper, the Hungaroring presents one of the best opportunities for us this year. The short, twisty circuit means we are less reliant on outright power, and the drivers have to really depend on the capabilities of the chassis to get the best out of the lap.”
“I always like returning to Budapest – we get to stay in the centre with great views of the river, and you feel like you’re really part of the city all weekend.”
“The temperatures are high and it’s a testing weekend for the teams and drivers – especially since the summer break is so close, but a good result can be a great boost for everyone going into the shutdown period.”
“The important thing for us, as always, is reliability. Even if our car could perform better in Hungary, we need to have a trouble-free weekend to take advantage of every opportunity for points.”
“We made some big decisions in Silverstone in terms of taking grid penalties in preparation for this race, and hope that’s paid off so we can put ourselves in the best possible position for points this weekend.”
Stoffel Vandoorne – “I really like the Hungaroring circuit – although it’s not the fastest in term of outright pace, its technical layout means it feels quick and requires 100% commitment and concentration all the way around the lap.”
“There are a lot of quick changes of direction, and the twisty configuration means you have to have your line spot-on every time to get the best out of a lap.”
“The layout combined with the high temperatures means it’s tough on the cars, and you need a strong and stable chassis to be able to get the nose in at the right time and allow you the best possible exit to get ready for the next corner.”
“The straights are short, so it’s all about setting up the car with as much downforce as possible for the corners.”
“I’ve won in Hungary before, in GP2, and I enjoy driving on this track. Although we’ve been a bit unlucky, I feel that my performances have been consistent and improving race-by-race. I’ve been working hard with the engineers and I feel confident in the car – my weekends are coming together better now in the first part of the season and as a team we are progressing every weekend.”
“We have to be patient, keep working hard, and I hope to see the reward for our efforts paying off soon.”
Hungarian Grand Prix Preview
Marcus Ericsson – “Off to the last race before the F1 shutdown – the Hungaroring is a track that I have been to a lot in the past couple of years.”
“It is a very technical track with interesting corner combinations. I especially look forward to seeing my Swedish fans there, which motivates me even more to perform well.”
“We will also have new parts on the car, and it will be interesting to see the first insights of this aerodynamic update. Hopefully, it will bring us forward so that we can fight our way into the midfield.”
Pascal Wehrlein – “I am looking forward to the Hungarian GP, and in particular to the first part of our aerodynamic update which will be introduced there.”
“It will be exciting to see how the adaptations will affect our performance. This will be our last race before the F1 shutdown – I will do my best to perform well and to finish the first half of the season on a positive note.”
Most Images – Kym Illman