Romain Grosjean says the biggest challenge his Haas squad faces upon its maiden outing at the Hungaroring is understanding the level of tyre degradation each compound sustains on the resurfaced circuit.
Grosjean is bidding to return the US team to points finishes after the disappointment of Silverstone, where the French driver felt he had a competitive set-up but his charge was ended prematurely with transmission problems.
Switching from the high-speed British circuit to the tight and twisty Hungaroring, Grosjean is relishing the return to a circuit he's consistently performed well around, with three points finishes in four race with the highlight of third place in 2012.
Despite Haas gearing up for its first competitive outing as an F1 team at the Budapest-based circuit, the US squad has performed consistently in the mid-pack in his debut year, albeit losing some performance at slower-speed tracks.
Grosjean feels the toughest task facing Haas will be gathering the key data to predict tyre degradation on super-soft, soft and medium compound tyres Pirelli is bringing to the recently-resurfaced Hungaroring.
“I've always had a good feeling in Hungary. I've always liked the track,” Grosjean said. “They've resurfaced it this year, so we'll see how it goes. It used to be very bumpy. It's a low-speed circuit. How the car handles is important.
“It's going to be our number one priority to get the tyre to work for us and analyse the degradation, which can be high on some compounds. If we get the grip, we'll get the lap time. Then we can do more pit stops and have more fun.”
Grosjean currently holds 10th in the F1 drivers' championship but has recently come under pressure from Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz – both in arguably stronger-performing cars
– and the French driver says concentration on the technical circuit with errors frequently punished at the tricky track.
“It's not an easy race, but on the other hand, there's not many high-speed corners on the track, so it's more about keeping your focus and concentration all through the race,” he said. “Regardless, we're always keeping fit to prepare ourselves.”