Formula 1 – McLaren Mercedes Hungarian Grand Prix Preview

July 27, 2011

Formula 1


Lewis Hamilton

“After my win at the Nurburgring on Sunday, the Hungarian Grand Prix can’t come soon enough. The team performed brilliantly last weekend and I want to maintain that momentum at the Hungaroring.

“It’s going to be a completely different challenge. The weather conditions will be much hotter than they were at the ’Ring and the nature of the circuit will be very different too. The Hungaroring is a tight and twisty racetrack, not dissimilar to Monaco in terms of downforce levels, and it offers no let up for the drivers. We’re always working behind the wheel, so it’s very physical.

“I’ve always gone well in Hungary. I like the circuit because it’s old school. It has a very historic feel to it, with hills and bumps and cambers changes, and it has massive character.

“There wasn’t much between McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull in Germany. It’s going to be fascinating to see which team holds the advantage next weekend.”

Jenson Button

“It’s always fun coming back to Hungary as this is the track at which I won my first grand prix, in 2006, and I’ll be celebrating another milestone on Sunday because this is my 200th grand prix. I can’t believe I’ve already knocked up a double-ton of F1 starts because I don’t feel a day older than when I made my debut back in 2000!

“Budapest is a beautiful city and the track is a good challenge. It’s one of the stops on the calendar that the drivers look forward to.

“After a premature end to my race at the Nurburgring, I’ll be hoping for better luck at the Hungaroring. The MP4-26 was very competitive in Monaco a couple of months ago and I hope it will be a similar situation this weekend because the Hungaroring has many of the same performance criteria.

“The hot weather conditions make this one of the most gruelling races of the year for the drivers. Cockpit temperatures regularly exceed 50 degrees and we’re always pulling g-force in the car because there are so many corners. It’s tough, but this is definitely a circuit when all the training pays dividends.

Martin Whitmarsh

Team Principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Everyone in the team thoroughly enjoyed Lewis’s win at the Nurburgring on Sunday, but our attention has already turned to this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix. Back-to-back races don’t afford you the luxury of looking backwards, only forwards!

“The Hungaroring is the slowest permanent circuit on the F1 calendar and it’s a great technical challenge. The cars run with maximum downforce and they have to be able to absorb the bumps and high kerbs that abound at the track.

“McLaren has won at the circuit nine times, which is more than any other team, and we’ll be looking to add to that tally on Sunday.

“Lewis proved at the Nurburgring that he’s at the top of his game at the moment. He was perfect in qualifying and perfect again in the race, and when he’s in that kind of form he’s very difficult to beat.

“As for Jenson, he’s had some bad luck in the last couple of races. But he’s mentally tough and he knows that the tide will turn. He’s driven beautifully this year and it’s up to us to give him a car worthy of his talents.

“We’ll be celebrating a couple of milestones this weekend. First, this is Jenson’s 200th grand prix. Longevity is to be commended in F1 because this isn’t a charitable business. Second, this will be the 100th race of Mercedes’ 2.4-litre V8 engine, which we’ve used since the inception of these regulations in 2006.”

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