Hungarian Grand Prix Preview – Hispania Racing

29th-31st July
Hungaroring, 70 laps, 4.381km

Budapest, 26th of July of 2011

The HRT F1 Team is looking forward to the 29th F1 Grand Prix of its young history this weekend. The team’s six unit trucks, its motorhome and support vehicle received permission to drive at night on Sunday evening right after the cars were checked and packed in the Nürburgring pits following the German Grand Prix. Meanwhile, the logistics for the team mechanics was very precise too: mechanics leaving on Monday from Frankfurt and engineers on Wednesday. It’s a challenging exercise to have back-to-back race logistics situations which occur frequently in Europe.

Although the 4.381km Hungaroring is a permanent race track, it is a challenging circuit even though it is one of the shortest on the calendar. The track surface is generally slippery, particularly at the beginning of the race weekend.

Vitantonio Liuzzi: “It’ll be good to get back in the car straight away after a frustrating end to the German Grand Prix and it was obviously not the way we wanted the race to go, so hopefully Hungary will bring us better luck! I like the Hungaroring. Its layout resembles that of a go-kart track. It’s so tight. I’ve got great memories of Hungary. It’s where I have scored wins too in 2004 in F3000. The crowd is friendly and fantastic and they have lots of passion, so I’m always looking forward to going there. The Hungaroring is normally very tough – hot and a very long race, it’s a real physical challenge. But I’m feeling good, and we keep progressing, so I’m looking forward to the weekend”.

Daniel Ricciardo: “Last weekend was really good for my country with Mark Webber’s pole and a podium in F1 and Cadel Evans who took the yellow jersey the day before the arrival in Paris and has become the first Australian Tour de France winner. I don’t know Cadel Evans yet, but I want to meet him as soon as possible and try to invite him to a Grand Prix. I’m excited to go to Budapest: the city is beautiful and the Hungaroring is a track that I like driving on. I have driven at Budapest three times before. I won there on two occasions so it’s a place I enjoy. I drove there with Formula Renault 2.0 and SG Formula and twice with World Series by Renault. For a driver the track is non-stop the whole lap and keeps you very busy with a lot of direction changes which I like. But it’s very demanding physically and mentally because there are so many corners and there’s only really one straight, and even that is not so long. You don ‘t really have time to get back your energy and relax, so you are always concentrating. I’m aiming for another improvement in qualifying and getting a spot or two further up the grid”.

Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “Back to back races push the teams hard. With Hungary coming right after the German Grand Prix, we are looking to put in a strong performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix. The ambient and track temperatures are often very hot here, but as the surface is quite smooth and there are no very high lateral forces so we don’t expect overheating to be too much of an issue if the tyres are managed well. The Hungaroring tends to be green and dirty on the first days, so the grip level increases during the weekend. It is also a track that needs high downforce. It’s the last race on the calendar before the summer break, and as temperatures are usually scorching, the inside of the cockpit can rise up to 60ºC. It’s obviously very difficult to pass given the tight, twisty layout so we need to maintain qualifying form, and reliability and look for a two car finish again. We are trying to make good progress at every race , and we’re well prepared for Hungary so there’s no reason why we can’t take another step forward this weekend”.