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Engineer's guide to Hungary
21 July 2013
Approaching Turn 1:
Heavy braking from almost 300km/h on the main straight to under 100km/h at the first turn creates the most likely overtaking opportunity on the circuit.
The track runs quite noticeably downhill into T2. With high potential for drivers to out-brake themselves here, they will need to keep their wits about them.
Moderate braking from around 240km/h to 150km/h at T5 follows the slight kink of T4; a tricky series of corners taken at medium / high speed.
Turns 4 – 11:
T4 – T11 very much lead into each other so there's little braking here and no room for error, as a small mistake at any stage can have a big effect on overall lap time. The drivers need a well-balanced car with good change of direction capabilities through this section.
The second slowest corner on the circuit, T13 is a tight left hander taken at around 100km/h before launching the car into the final turn.
A good exit from the third gear T14 is crucial, as it leads on to the circuits' only straight and subsequently into T1; the best overtaking opportunity around the lap.
Rear wing configuration will run to maximum downforce levels thanks to the relatively low speed nature of the circuit.
As with the rear, maximum downforce is required from the front wing in line with the circuit layout and also to help counter understeer.
The layout of the Hungaroring circuit promotes understeer, with a strong front end required to prevent this. The drivers will also ride the kerbs a lot at throughout the course of a lap, so a soft front end is useful in that respect.
The lap begins with relatively heavy braking heading into T1, which comes at the end of a comparatively long straight. By contrast, demands on the brakes from T4 – T10 are very light. The drivers therefore need good confidence in their braking systems to be right on the mark when needed, as they are used heavily relatively seldom over the course of a lap.
Drivers will be looking for non-peaky power delivery to facilitate traction out of the low-speed corners and provide good all round driveability. The engine needs to be mapped in such a way as to deliver sharp bursts of power rather than sustained application of throttle. Ambient temperatures are particularly high in Budapest, so the engine must perform efficiently through the lower rev range while offering efficient cooling solutions.
The medium and soft Pirelli P-Zeros are allocated. This will be the first race in which we'll see a combination of 2013 compounds with 2012 construction. The circuit surface and layout is relatively kind to the tyres, however the high temperatures frequently experienced in Budapest can cause the rubber other issues such as blistering.
Feature courtesy of Lotus F1 Team
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