The Hungarian Grand Prix, the final race before Formula One’s summer break and Round 10 of this year’s championship, takes place at the Hungaroring on the outskirts of Budapest on Sunday 28 July.
- The 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix featured fewer overtakes (19) than last year’s race in Monte-Carlo (23).
- At 610 metres, the run from the start to the first corner is the fourth longest of the entire season.
- Mercedes-Benz power has won five of the past six Hungarian Grands Prix.
The Hungaroring is always a track that I enjoy driving and it has quite a challenging layout for the drivers. With all the twists and turns, it feels very much like Monaco but takes place on a normal circuit. Qualifying will be important this weekend which is good for us but we know that we have to deliver on Sunday as well. The forecast looks hot and it is likely to very demanding on the tyres. Physically it will be a tough race and the lack of straights means that you never get a moment to relax. It would be great for us to come away from Hungary with another strong result to take into the summer break.
I have always enjoyed the Hungaroring and it’s a track that I have been lucky enough to win at three times so far. I love the layout of the circuit and Budapest is a really cool city which has a great atmosphere over the race weekend. It will be an important weekend for us and we need to get off to a good start on Friday when we have the chance to try the new tyres for the first time. I’ve spent some time at the factory since we returned from Germany and I know that everyone there is working really hard to improve our overall performance and to address the issues that we experienced at the last race. It would be great to reward all of that effort with a strong weekend in Budapest and I’ll certainly be pushing to make that happen.
The final race before the summer break is always a milestone for the team and an opportunity to review our performance before our staff enjoy a well-deserved break during the summer shutdown. Our team are currently in second place in the Constructors’ Championship with two race wins to date. However the season has not been without its challenges and we have had some very tough races. This happens over the course of a season and you have to take the highs and lows and find your path to making improvements. Both Nico and Lewis have visited the factory in the two weeks since we returned from Germany and everyone has been working very hard to investigate our tyre sensitivities ahead of the elevated temperatures that we will undoubtedly experience this weekend in Budapest. The Hungaroring is a very slow circuit with mainly low and medium-speed corners, which present an interesting technical challenge. Friday will also be our first opportunity to work with the new tyres on our car, so we have a great deal to learn in a short space of time. We want to finish the first half of the season on a high but the challenge facing us is clear.
Hungary will mark the end of the first half of the season and it has been a generally positive one for our team. We go into the race weekend with two victories and six pole positions under our belt. Those results show how much hard work we have put into our year so far and the successful way the team is coming together. But we are under no illusions for the second half of the year and this weekend in Hungary we have a number of challenges to overcome. First, we will need to do extra homework on Friday to understand how the new tyres work with our car. Then we will have to get to grips with the high temperatures, a demanding circuit and the soft and medium compound Pirelli tyres. During the race at the Nürburgring, we were overheating the tyres and we want to minimise the chance of suffering a repeat problem in Hungary, where the track temperatures will also be high. The team has worked thoroughly since Germany to improve the situation and we will find out how the new tyres will affect that situation, too. Our motivation is high to score a good result that we can take into the summer break but we know there is plenty of good work needed to achieve that.