F1 2021
Round 11

#HungarianGP Race Setup #F1

hu Hungaroring

There was drama before we'd even seen the lights go out in Hungary last year. A slippery Hungaroring circuit saw Max make contact with the barrier on his way to the grid, sparking one of the greatest Mechanic performances F1 has seen for some time!

#HungarianGP Race Setup #F1

A calculated and controlled repair of the front-left side of Max's car saw him able to take the start and power on to a P2 finish. You should watch the F1 video on their YouTube channel about it, it's really good. A Monaco-like challenge, the Hungarian circuit can be a difficult place to overtake at the best of times. Seeing us take our first pole position in 2019 since our return to the sport in 2015, we’ll be looking to turn everything up during Saturdays qualifying to put us in a strong position again come Sunday. The 14 turn race circuit has seen 6 Honda victories in its long history, including Jenson Button’s iconic victory in 2006 that saw him take his first ever F1 victory.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
The last round at Silverstone was very disappointing, especially with Max going out on the opening lap after a collision and overall, it was Honda’s worst race of the year so far from the point of view of points scored. The first ever Sprint Qualifying was an interesting experiment, but generally it was a difficult weekend for both Honda teams. We now move on to Hungary which marks the mid-point of the season. After four races at relatively high-speed tracks in France, Austria and England, we now come to the Hungaroring. It’s a very different, much slower and technical type of circuit with just one short straight and many slow corners, making overtaking difficult so that qualifying position is very important. We are well used to it being very hot here and combined with the fact that car runs at relatively low speeds, it’s a feature of this event that cooling is an important factor that we have to consider, when optimising our settings. We very much want to finish the first half of the year before summer shutdown with a good race result for all four of our drivers and we have been working hard since Silverstone to prepare for that. 

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing
I’m happy to get back on track in Hungary this weekend, especially after the last race result. I’m a little bruised of course but that’s normal after such a big impact but I’m training and feeling good. I did a 24hr sim race this week and it was a good test to see how my body would react to spending time sat in one position and behind screens for a long time, I felt absolutely fine which makes me feel positive heading into the weekend. I’m definitely ready to go again! I don’t have much to say on all the media hype and to be honest I am not interested in getting involved in any of that. I know what happened at Silverstone as I was in the car and obviously I feel a certain way about how my race ended but now I’m just focusing on making sure we are the best we can be on track so we can stay ahead in the championship. The Team can take care of the official side of things and anything that needs looking into after the crash but my job is the same as always - to be the best I can and try to win on Sunday. I enjoy Hungary as a track and let’s hope there is a little less action on the way to the grid as the mechanics worked some sort of miracle to get my car out for the race last year!

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing
Silverstone was a poor weekend for me and one to forget. I enjoyed the sprint race format though, it demands a lot more from the drivers with two races and two starts. It was definitely different, that’s for sure. Now I am fully focused on Hungary and we plan to bounce back. We are very motivated as a Team, we have worked really hard this week and we are doing everything we can to come back strong. The Hungaroring is a very unique track and it’s very similar to Monaco with the high levels of downforce, it’s a very technical track. I’m looking forward to having a strong weekend at the last race before the summer holidays…that’s the only way we can have a good holiday, making sure that we have a strong weekend in Budapest [laughs]!

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri
The last race at Silverstone was frustrating as we lost a couple of points because of the puncture at the end, I think even eighth place could have been possible. Someone had thrown some gravel onto the track and it cut my tyre. So honestly, I was a bit fed up with how things went generally in the past few races. In Austria there was the collision with Charles, which cost me some points, and then that puncture. Overall, I’d say Silverstone was my worst weekend of the season, especially as it looked as though we could have salvaged between two and four points, so it was annoying that we couldn’t take them. But that’s how it goes sometimes and now we definitely have things to review. We had to deal with more complications than we expected and the new format didn’t really allow us much time to sort things out after free practice, before going straight to Qualifying and parc ferme.
We got off to a very strong start to the season, so now it will be important to have a good end to the first part of the year in Budapest. I have done well in the past at the Hungaroring, winning in Formula 2 and scoring points a couple of times in Formula 1. It’s a circuit I like a lot, as there are no real straights and plenty of corners, so in the cockpit you are always doing something – braking, turning, or managing the throttle. There’s very little time spent in a straight line and I enjoy that. It means it’s important to get into a good rhythm and so I find it really enjoyable to drive. Of course, it’s always a really physical challenge with no chance to rest on the lap, plus it looks like it’s going to be another very hot weekend given the heat in Europe at the moment, but I feel ready for it.
In terms of our chances there, we have seen in the past couple of weekends that McLaren and Ferrari have made a big step forward. We know we are fighting for fifth in the championship with Alpine and Aston Martin and that’s the target we must aim for. I think that in Budapest we will have a chance of being in the mix with these two teams, but we will need to have a very good weekend, benefitting from the full potential that is there in our package.
After that comes the break and I think it will be good for everyone after an intense first part of the year. We know the next part of the season is going to be very demanding, so being able to rest in a year with 23 races planned, the most ever, will be important. It is going to be tough towards the end of the year, both physically and psychologically, so a bit of time for everyone to spend with their families is a good thing.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
Looking back at Silverstone, I wasn’t happy with the way Qualifying went, having a problem with traffic, but overall I was pleased as I was able to get a point on Sunday, even though the new format proved to be pretty tough. I think the team was a bit disappointed with our car performance, which was lower than expected, but for me I was quite happy. Driving Silverstone in a Formula 1 car for the first time, I immediately got an incredible feeling from the high speeds, especially through Maggotts and Becketts. When I first drove an F1 car, I was amazed at the amount of downforce and the grip level, but in those two corners, going through them on full power with all that downforce, was really a surprise.
The Hungaroring will be very different to that. I like this track even though last time I raced there in Formula 2, I didn’t get a good result because of a poor Qualifying and in the race I did a lot of damage to my front wing. As a track though I really like it, as it is very challenging, requiring maximum downforce on the car. One side of it that is interesting is how much corner speed you can carry into the turns and generally it is a fun track to drive.
It is physically demanding because of the hot weather and the fact there are no straight sections to have a rest, so I think it could be tough. I don’t know how I will get on, but I feel ready for it. After that comes the summer break. I am quite looking forward to it. As I recently moved to Italy, I think I will spend most of the break sorting out the house where I plan to live. Before this race, I was back in the UK for a simulator session and in the evenings, I was stuck in a hot hotel room with no air-conditioning or fan, so I’m looking forward to moving to this house with some aircon and being nice and cool!

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