Toto Talks Hungary
It was encouraging to score such a big haul of points in France and maximise the situation on Sunday but we know there is much work still to do. The gap to the leaders on a single lap persists and we struggle more at the start of stints.
We need to keep unlocking more performance, and by maintaining the culture, mindset and spirit that has spurred on all the hard work at the factories, I’m confident we will. Our reliability was good once again, and both Lewis and George were on strong form, to deliver a double podium.
Now we’re switching focus to Hungary and a very different circuit; tight, twisty and bumpy, almost the opposite of where we just were. It’s hard to predict how we will fare because our expectations this year haven’t always matched up to reality, in terms of which tracks suit the W13.
Nevertheless, we’ll give it our all and we always look forward to being in Budapest and the warm welcome we receive from the fans. It also marks our 250th Grand Prix with our title partners, PETRONAS, which is a brilliant milestone.
Fact File: Hungarian Grand Prix
The Hungarian Grand Prix usually turns out to be one of the hottest race weekends of the year, with air and track temperatures averaging 27°C and 43°C respectively.
The Hungaroring was resurfaced several years ago, and most of the bumps were flattened out. However, given this was a little while ago, the track surface is gradually starting to show its age and the irregularities are forming again.
The amount of braking activity, the high ambient temperatures and the absence of any truly long straights make this track exceptionally taxing on the brakes. Furthermore, the lack of overtaking opportunities mean drivers can get stuck in traffic. The low average speed at the Hungaroring also limits the airflow, all of which makes it even harder to cool the brakes.
Six of the Hungaroring’s 14 turns are left-handers and eight are on the right. Many of these corners are combined, making good directional changes more important.
The straights at the Hungaroring are relatively short and taking the corners at the right speed is crucial. Consequently, the standard setup for Hungary includes maximum downforce.
Due to its nature as a high-downforce track, the Hungaroring has one of the lowest top speeds of the season so far: 308 km/h. The F1 cars only go straight for about ten seconds during the course of a fast lap, spending the remaining 65 seconds or so cornering.
Although the home straight in Hungary is one of the shortest on the racing calendar, the distance from pole position to the braking zone for Turn 1 is one of the longest of the year at 444 metres, a distance exceeded only by Mexico City, Imola, Barcelona and Monza.
The track characteristics are also reflected in the full-throttle percentage, with only 65% of the lap distance on the Hungaroring taken with the accelerator pedal to the floor – one of the lowest ratios in Formula One.
The kerbs in the final corner can be very aggressive, and the same applies to the exit of Turn 11. However, unlike on faster tracks such as Spielberg a few weeks ago, the kerbs in Hungary are driven over at lower speeds. The chicane (Turns 7 and 8), on the other hand, can prove problematic, especially in the wet, and take the drivers by surprise.
Good traction is very important when negotiating the many slow corners, which is why this circuit puts the rear tyres in particular under a lot of stress.
The strategy in Hungary is often on the borderline between a one-stop and a two-stop race. If the tyres ‘fall off a cliff’ towards the end of a stint, the driver can suddenly lose an enormous amount of time.