Pastor Maldonado, Williams F1 Team
You need to concentrate very hard at the Hungaroring as the corners flow into each other, particularly in the second and third sectors. You never feel like you reach a very high speed as you are always turning into another corner, but you do need to know that the engine can deliver good power when you need it as this is where a lot of lap time can be found.
Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations
After one of the quicker circuits on the calendar we go to one of the slowest. The slow speed corners and the lack of straights means delivering top end power is not the aim this weekend. Instead we work to deliver good low speed torque to improve grip on the throttle and rear stability under braking. Gear ratios will therefore be very short to give greater acceleration.
The start-stop nature of the track makes fuel consumption per kilometre very high and the starting fuel load will be correspondingly heavy. This year the tyre wear has a very marked effect on fuel consumption so this is something we will try to watch very carefully towards the end of the race to avoid finishing with too much fuel, or too little. The nature of the corners here can also be quite different, the drivers sometimes holding constant throttle as they cross the apex, as opposed to the more standard ‘brake, turn and go’. This provides a good test for the associated transient fuelling strategies.
It’s typically very hot at this time of year — although this season the rain has been following us! The low speed compounds the high ambient temperatures, placing an emphasis on effective cooling. Unfortunately the high downforce settings required for this track do not afford us the luxury of additional air inlets to cool the engine so we carefully prepare the Hungaroring in the dynos back at Viry, working specifically over the low revs in high ambient conditions. Once the race is underway, there is little that can be done to manage the coolant temperatures so it will be important to get a good handle of the cooling on Friday.
It’s actually quite a challenge to get this track right, so it’s not exactly a quiet end to the first part of the season!