2004 Hungarian Grand Prix Preview
Date: August 11, 2004 03:28
BAR Press release
The Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda team heads to Hungary this week for Round 13 of the Formula One World Championship, which takes place at the Hungaroring in Budapest.
The team has spent a turbulent week, following the announcement that Jenson Button had made plans to leave B*A*R at the end of the season. Whilst a satisfactory resolution to the situation is sought, the team will put these issues to one side to go about the business of its next Grand Prix and to continue to maintain its clear grasp on third place in the Constructors' Championship.
Prior to the three-week break, Jenson brought his B*A*R Honda 006 home in an outstanding second position in the German Grand Prix after starting the race from 13th on the grid. Takuma Sato also finished in the top eight, which brought the team's combined Hockenheim points haul to nine. This result is testimony to the fact that B*A*R is in a position to fight for every possible opportunity to close the gap to second placed Renault in the remaining six rounds. Just nine points separate the two teams, whilst B*A*R
continues to pull away from Williams in fourth place.
Jenson Button on the Hungarian Grand Prix
"We should have similar competitiveness as we did at the German Grand Prix since the Hungaroring suits our car well. Budapest itself is a great city and the atmosphere during the Grand Prix weekend is fantastic as the fans are very supportive and enthusiastic. I am really looking forward to getting back in the car after the break, focusing on doing the best job possible for the team."
Takuma Sato on the Hungarian Grand Prix
"I haven't driven the new Hungaroring circuit yet, but it looks more
interesting now with the additional overtaking opportunities. Our car has basically been a very strong package all year, even though we recently experienced a few races where our performance was not as we expected. However, at the last race in Germany I felt that we were heading back in the right direction, so I believe that a good result is possible for us in Hungary. I have had a nice holiday over the past two weeks and am really looking forward to getting back to racing next week."
David Richards, Team Principal
"The entire team left Germany three weeks ago on an immense high, following what was without doubt the best race result in B*A*R's history. That race clearly underlined the fact that we had recovered our advantage over our immediate competitors and we can enjoy a very exciting fight in the remaining six races. The events of the past week came as a complete shock to the entire team, as one might expect. However, I have always acknowledged that we have an incredibly solid and professional team here and, despite their disappointment, they very quickly regrouped and got on
with the job in hand, which is the next round of the Championship this weekend. I have no doubt whatsoever that they will carry their
professionalism through to Hungary and the rest of the season. Whilst the contractual situation is being addressed, the team's immediate objective is to maintain our competitiveness and see a B*A*R driver back on the podium in Hungary on Sunday."
Craig Wilson, Chief Race Engineer
"Following the three week break in the normal race schedule, we are looking forward to building on the podium result and two-car points finish we achieved in Hockenheim. We have a great deal to play for in the Constructors' Championship during the remaining six races. The Hungaroring circuit, despite the modifications made last year, requires a maximum downforce set-up due to the predominance of corners and relatively short joining straights. Due to the circuit location and timing in the summer, it is quite often dusty to begin with, giving poor grip conditions and making
an early tyre choice more difficult until the track has cleaned up. The
track characteristics and temperatures lead to a lot of understeer issues but this has to be balanced against looking after the rear tyres for the race when working on the car set-up."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development
"Our engineers have enjoyed their short break and are refreshed and ready to go for the last six races of the season. There is still one third of the season to go and we will keep fighting hard to maintain B*A*R Honda's position in the Championship."
Race distance - 70 laps, 190.551miles (306.663km)
Circuit length - 2.722 miles (4.381km)
Race Start - 13.00 GMT
The Hungaroring has been a regular fixture on the GP calendar since 1986 when it became the first Formula One event to take place in Eastern Europe.
Until last year, the circuit layout had remained the same since 1989, when an unplanned kink around an underground spring was removed, shortening the track and making it the second shortest lap on the current F1 calendar. The twisty layout, with modifications made in 2003, also makes this the slowest circuit bar Monaco, and three corners (the Turn 2 and 13 hairpins, plus the Turn 6/7 chicane) are all 90 km/h turns. The fastest corner is the
relatively modest 170km/h left-hand kink at Turn 4.
Honda F1 Highlights
* Honda-powered drivers have taken victory in Hungary five times, Nelson Piquet taking the chequered flag in 1986 and 1987 and Ayrton Senna winning in 1988, 1991 and 1992.
* Honda drivers have been on the podium 11 times at the Hungaroring.