The second half of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship continues in Hungary this weekend as Round Ten takes the Brawn GP team to the beautiful capital city of Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The 4.381km Hungaroring, located 19kms from the capital, has hosted the Hungarian Grand Prix since 1986 and produced some fantastic races over the years. The low speed and high downforce circuit is one of the most technically and physically demanding tracks on the calendar with a twisty layout of interlinked corners which can really test the drivers and cars.
Both of Brawn GP’s drivers have achieved victories at the Hungaroring with Rubens Barrichello winning in 2002 and standing on the podium in 2001 and 2004, and Jenson Button taking his first Grand Prix victory in the thrilling wet race of August 2006.Ross Brawn, Team Principal:
How is the team feeling ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend?
“The last two races at Silverstone and the Nürburgring have been frustrating for the team as we have not been able to achieve the full potential of our car at the same time as our competitors have taken a good step forward. However we are confident that the inherent performance of the BGP 001 which was demonstrated during the first half of the season has not disappeared and the problems that we faced were unique to the circumstances of those races.
“Our focus now is to maximise the performance that we know is in the car whilst continuing to develop improvements which will maintain our championship challenge. We have a significant aerodynamic upgrade for the race in Budapest which will bring performance gains in efficiency, downforce and aero balance but we face a fierce battle and we must continue to improve for the rest of the season. The team has faced many challenges to arrive where we are today and I am confident that we have the people and resources, plus two excellent drivers, to respond and fight to maintain our position of leading the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships.”Jenson Button:
You’ve said that you can’t wait to get Hungary this weekend. What is it about the track that you enjoy?
“Hungary is always one of my favourite races and even more so this year as it should finally be a return to some real summer temperatures! The circuit holds some very special memories for me as the venue of my first Formula One win three years ago and it’s fantastic to be going back there with the chance to compete for the win again. The Hungaroring is quite a challenging circuit as it is so twisty and there’s no real respite round the lap but it is a lot of fun to drive. The lap has a good rhythm and mix of slow-speed and high-speed turns. The circuit generates an incredible amount of grip as the weekend gets underway which can provide a real challenge in finding the right set-up. I’ve been at home in Monaco for the past week concentrating on my training but I know that the guys at the factory and at Mercedes-Benz have been working really hard on our latest upgrade package and I just can’t wait to get back in the car.”Rubens Barrichello:
What are your thoughts ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix?
“Budapest is a wonderful city and there’s always a great atmosphere around the circuit for the race weekend. The Hungaroring has been pretty good to me in the past with one win and a couple of podiums so it’s a track that I enjoy returning to, particularly with a good car as we have this year. Germany and Silverstone have been frustrating races for us, despite the podium at Silverstone, so we will be looking to start the second half of the season afresh this weekend and focus on getting the maximum performance from the car and our upgrades. The Hungaroring is a pretty physical track which combined with the usual high temperatures make it a tough challenge for the drivers but that’s what we enjoy. It’s not that easy to overtake through the slow corners here so it places the emphasis on having a good qualifying session on Saturday and being able to start from as high up the grid as possible. The feedback from the factory is that our upgrades for this weekend should be a step forward so we’re feeling positive going into the weekend.”