This weekend the team takes on the tricky turns and twisting track of the Hungaroring, as the Formula One paddock moves to Hungary for the 11th round of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship. Located just outside of Budapest, the 4.381km circuit has been a staple of the Formula One calendar since it’s inaugural race in 1986, in which Nelson Piquet claimed the victory in his Williams FW11. Few changes have been made to the track since then, which continues to pose challenges due to its limited overtaking opportunities and sequences of combination corners.
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: The short twisty Hungaroring is a stark contrast to the fast-flowing Silverstone track, but it nonetheless offers an exciting challenge. Overtaking is very difficult, which places a premium on qualifying position. The weather in Budapest in late July is typically very hot and this makes tyre management difficult and therefore heavily dictates the set-up direction. Following the Sprint Qualifying format two weeks ago in Great Britain, we return to a standard event format this weekend, which gives us more opportunity to tune the car set-up to the tyre behaviour.
In recent years we have been reasonably strong in Budapest and we hope to continue the trend this year. The FW43B has been performing well recently and if we can adapt it to the longer, slower corners of the Hungaroring then we will be in a good position to get the most from the tyres, which this week are the middle-of-the-range: C2, C3 and C4 compounds. The new rear tyre construction, which Pirelli introduced at the British Grand Prix behaved as expected and should be well suited to the Budapest track.
George Russell: I’m really looking forward to heading to Hungary this weekend. The Hungaroring is a circuit that I love, especially the second sector; it’s fast and flowing, and you don’t get a break from turn four to turn 11, but when the car is nailed it’s such a fantastic feeling to really extract everything from that sequence of corners. Budapest is a city that I really enjoy too, it has such a great atmosphere. I am going to be giving it my everything to make sure we end the first half of the season strongly, especially coming off the back of a number of strong races recently.
Nicholas Latifi: I’m very excited to head out to Budapest. It’s a track that has tended to suit the car quite nicely in past years, so hopefully we can maximise any opportunities that present themselves there. As for the track itself, it’s very busy and you feel like you are constantly in a corner, so you really have to get in a nice consistent rhythm to repeatedly nail your laps which makes it a challenge for the drivers. It’s also usually very hot there, so I think tyre management will be key. You always want the last race before the break to go well so that you can head off on your summer holiday feeling positive, so I’ll be looking to end this first half of the season on a high note.