Honda: 2008 Hungarian GP preview 

Written by David on July 30th, 2008 at 12:36 amLast Update: July 30th, 2008 at 12:36 am

Honda RacingRoss Brawn: “The team completed a very well executed four-day test in Jerez last week with an extensive programme of test items for the current season and looking ahead to the development of our 2009 car. In addition to running the final stage of our mid-season aerodynamic upgrade, we evaluated a new suspension system, brake and engine modifications and an evaluation of the 2009 slick tyres. The test went very well, with the full programme completed in punishingly hot conditions, therefore we are very satisfied. Our evaluation of the resulting data should have positive results for the performance of the RA108 in the forthcoming races and for the direction of the 2009 car. The Hungaroring is a low speed and high downforce track where we will face similar challenges to Monaco, albeit with a different layout and corner speeds. We frequently see high ambient temperatures during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend which, combined with a low average speed of 197kph, can make engine and brake cooling a challenge. The supersoft Bridgestone Potenza tyre is fastest here and it is important to maintain a balance to avoid graining and overheating. The track generates grip throughout the weekend, even during the race, therefore anticipating the best set-up for the conditions is key.”

Rubens Barrichello: “The Hungaroring is a pretty physical track which is twisty and bumpy with slow corners. It is very difficult to overtake so you have to start from the front to have a good race which makes having a good qualifying session on Saturday very important. The race can be incredibly hot so it is a tough challenge for the drivers. We have to be well prepared and you need that extra little bit of fitness to cope with the heat. Our test in Jerez last week was a good opportunity to acclimatise to such conditions, both for the drivers and for the car. I won at the Hungaroring in 2002 and have been on the podium a couple more times since then so I really enjoy returning to Budapest.”

Jenson Button: “The Hungarian Grand Prix will always be a special race for me as the venue of my first win in Formula One but obviously I would much prefer to be going back with the chance to challenge for the win again. The new parts which we tested in Jerez last week are a small step forward, so it will be interesting to see how this places us in the midfield pack for the race weekend. The Hungaroring circuit itself has a good rhythm and a nice mix of slow-speed and high-speed turns. A lap around the circuit is actually quite a challenge because there is no respite and no opportunity to relax your hands, so you are gripping the steering wheel hard the whole time. As a city, Budapest is fantastic and definitely one of the most exciting places that we visit during the Formula One season, with a great atmosphere during the Grand Prix weekend, both in the city and at the circuit.”

source: Honda 

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