Hungarian Grand Prix Preview – Force India
Chairman and Team Principal, Dr. Vijay Mallya, reveals his hopes for Budapest.
“The Hungarian Grand Prix is always a popular race with Force India. The city of Budapest is full of life, beautiful architecture and the fans always give a warm welcome to Formula One.
We head there off the back of our strongest showing of the year and determined to build on our momentum. We’ve steadily been improving the car and Adrian’s sixth place finish in Germany was a welcome reward for all the hard work that has gone on at the track and back at base. Considering our competitiveness at the start of the year, this is an achievement the entire team can be proud of.
We also know that we need to keep our heads down because there is still a big task ahead of us in the second half of the year. But I believe we have a solid basis to build on and that we can continue fighting for points this coming weekend.”
Adrian on Hungary
Adrian Sutil hopes for a strong showing at the Hungaroring
“The race in Budapest is always a really nice event. The weather is usually great and there’s quite a relaxed feel to the weekend because it’s the last race before the summer holidays.
It’s a very small track that’s tight and twisty without many places to overtake. You are nearly always in a corner so it’s a bit like Monaco and you don’t get any chance to relax, apart from maybe the main straight. We will run with maximum downforce there because after Monaco it’s the slowest circuit on the calendar.
The track is not used that much so it’s usually quite dusty when we arrive. It cleans up as we start running, but Friday practice is always quite hard work. By the start of qualifying it has usually improved and the grip just builds up and up. When the track is like that it’s really nice to drive.”
Paul on Hungary
Paul gets set for racing at the Hungaroring
“The Hungaroring is a short track, but it’s very demanding on the drivers physically and mentally. I suppose it’s like a street track in terms of the layout and the number of corners mean the aero performance of the car is very important there. All the corners seem to flow into each other and you need to find a good rhythm.
I had my first experience of the track last year during free practice. It’s not easy to learn much from a handful of laps but I know the layout and main challenges of the track. Because of the tight nature of the lap, it’s never been a track where there has been much overtaking, so it will be another good test of the DRS.
It’s the last race before the summer break so it would be good to come away with a strong result. At the half way point of the season I’m feeling good about things. Each race makes things a little bit easier, especially for getting comfortable with all the procedures of Formula One. I’m enjoying my first year as a Formula One driver and I just hope the rest of the season continues in the same way.”
Meet The Force
Let’s introduce Paul’s number 1 mechanic, Chris King, who’s been with the team since 1999.
Which was the first Grand Prix you attended?
Silverstone 1998 as a spectator, but my first Grand Prix as a mechanic was Monaco 2003.
What’s the best thing about working in F1?
You get to travel the world and sometimes see new places.
What couldn’t you live without?
My wife, obviously!
How do you relax and switch off from F1?
By catching up with family and friends.
What’s the most played song on your iPod?
Probably a Matchbox 20 song.
Favourite race of the year?
It’s got to be Montreal. A nice place and amazing atmosphere over the race weekend.
If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?
Just being able to fly without getting on a plane might be a good start!
Have you got a team nickname?
It’s ‘Lammie’. I believe it’s something to do with Christophe Lammie Pie from TFI Friday.
Whyte & Mackay City Guide
Our team partner, Whyte & Mackay, makers of Scotch whisky, give some survival tips for a week in Budapest.
Where to stay?
If it’s glamour you’re after, then the Gresham Palace Four Seasons should be top of the list. As an Art Nouveau landmark, the venue has been transformed into an ultra-modern luxury hotel with panoramic views of the Danube and the hills of Buda.
The rest of the city is packed with wonderful hotels, such as the Continental, Kempinski and Intercontinental.
Where to drink?
Creol Bar is a great place to party during Grand Prix weekend and is located right in the heart of the city on Roosevelt Street. It boasts a 20-page cocktail menu and serves over 50 different whiskies.
For a more low key setting, check out Leguan bar, an art deco restaurant hidden in the atmospheric alleyways close to Gozsdu Court. Sit back any enjoy their great whisky and cocktail selection in a chilled-out atmosphere.
Where to eat?
Onyx restaurant earned its first Michelin star this year so it’s well worth a visit. It’s a firm favourite with the locals for its mix of traditional Hungarian and European dishes. Check it out near Harmincad Street.
For something a little simpler, head to Aranyszarvas on Szarvas Street – a beautiful restaurant that prides itself on tasty and affordable food.
Top tip for visitors
While you’re in Budapest you should try some of the local drinks. There’s Unicum, a digestive liqueur made with 40 different herbs or Palinka which is the local brandy made with various fruits.