Mercedes working hard to find improvements for Hungarian GP
By Berthold Bouman
Mercedes is working hard to find improvements ahead of round 11 of the FIA Formula One World Championship: the Hungarian Grand Prix. But it won’t be easy, said Team Principal Ross Brawn, “There is a limited amount of work that can be done between back-to-back races but we will work hard to find the necessary improvements.”
Mercedes Motorsport Director Norbert Haug thinks his team needs to find half a second per lap to keep up with their opponents. “The last two races have shown that we currently lack around half a second a lap to the pace-setters. This is clear to all in the team and we’ll be doing our maximum to develop the car further and close the gap,” said the German.
Nico Rosberg had a troublesome race at Hockenheim and finished tenth, but he likes the Hungarian circuit. “The Hungaroring is a very challenging track and it’s definitely one that I enjoy. It’s like a street circuit but on a normal track because of the many tight and twisty turns and not so many straights. The layout should suit our car but you just can’t make predictions this year and you never know how it will work out over the weekend,” said Rosberg.
But he is a bit concerned about the Pirelli tyres, “Tyre wear will again be critical for the race so we will work hard to manage that properly. It would be nice if we can make a step forward and have a good weekend before the summer break.”
Michael Schumacher finished seventh in his German home Grand Prix, but is still optimistic of a good performance this weekend, and he too is a fan of the Hungaroring, “We have taken a clear step forward and already achieved a few highlights. I’m looking forward to this weekend’s race because I really enjoy the Hungarian Grand Prix. It’s a circuit where the drivers are always busy around the lap, it’s really demanding and there are barely any opportunities to catch your breath. Let’s wait and see what we can achieve here, before the team heads off for a well-earned break.”
Haug describes the circuit from a technical point of view, “The Hungaroring has the slowest average speed of any permanent circuit on the calendar and the cars actually spend a lower proportion of the lap at full throttle than even in Monaco. The corners are predominantly medium and low speed, which require good traction, downforce and braking stability.”
And Haug completes this Mercedes preview with the wise words, “The verdict on the first half of our season would be: ‘much achieved, much still to do’.”