Comparisons abound between the venues for the Monaco and Hungarian grands prix, and the Marussia F1 team heads to Budapest hoping to come away with a similar result to the one earned on the streets of the Principality in May.
While clearly not a 'race around the houses', the Hungaroring is the slowest permanent circuit on the F1 schedule and features a lap frequently described as 'tortuous' by teams and drivers alike. Having claimed an unexpected ninth place in Monaco, Marussia is hoping that history repeats at the venue most closely replicating the most famous street circuit in the world.
“The Hungarian Grand Prix takes place on one of the most tortuous layouts on the world championship calendar and is reminiscent of Monte Carlo for its technical characteristics,” Mattia Binotto, deputy director of Marussia's engine partner Ferrari, confirmed, “Let's hope that is a good omen, since it was on the streets of the Principality that the team got the best result in its history!”
With blazing temperatures, similar to those experienced at Hockenheim last weekend, a frequent feature of the Hungarian round, Binotto is expecting the last race before the summer break to be a particular test of the new-era V6s.
“One of the most important factors for the power unit will be temperature management, not only in terms of reliability, but also of performance,” he explained, “This year, it is not only crucial to ensure that the operating temperatures of the thermal engine remains within the defined parameters, but also those of the ERS operation must be managed in such a way as to allow at the same time both the highest reliability and the best performance possible.
“Usually the race at the Hungaroring is characterised by very high ambient temperatures, therefore it will be even more important than usual the work of preparation and finalisation of the overall package carried out in constant collaboration between us and our partner, with particular regard to driveability, a decisive factor on this track."
With Marussia's engineering group having returned to the UK between races to consider the findings of the German Grand Prix, the team is determined to end the first 'half' of the campaign on a positive note. Both Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton have tasted success at the Hungaroring in their junior careers, and the Briton is keen to ensure that the team keeps itself out of the clutches of its rivals.
“I really like the Hungaroring and it's a place that holds special memories for me having won here in GP2, but the track is quite arduous as the lap is so relentless and the temperatures can be tough for the cars and the team,” Chilton noted, “It is all corners, so driving technique and car set-up are very important.
“In development terms, we need a strong and reliable weekend, hopefully benefiting from what we learned in Germany last week. The progress continues, but we need to ensure we can realise more of it during the course of a race, so we're not finding ourselves out of position with the Caterhams.”