F1 »

Temperatures the key to Hungary.

Honda may not be expecting to move mountains in this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix - especially with rain unlikely over Budapest - but the team is hoping that developments tried out at last week's Jerez test can at least make it more of a factor in the midfield battle.

With a lot of attention focusing on the next year's car, the first designed under Ross Brawn's stewardship of the team, the RA108 has slipped back through the ranks in recent weeks. Rubens Barrichello's rain-assisted Silverstone podium aside, points have been a struggle for both the Brazilian and team-mate Jenson Button, but both drivers were encouraged by the latest raft of developments as they head to a track where Honda has won on six occasions as an engine supplier.

Both Button and Barrichello have won in Hungary, the Brazilian with Ferrari in 2002 and Button two years ago in the only wet race in Hungaroring history, but acknowledge equally that a repeat will be tough this year.

"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 Briton admitted, "However, 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."

Various updates for the RA108 were evaluated at Jerez, which mimicked Budapest by providing stiflingly hot temperatures across the four days of the test. Temperatures have a big influence on car set-up at the Hungaroring, with cool conditions provoking understeer, and heat oversteer. Invariably, however, the weather has been hot during the race's 22-year history, so the Honda engineers will arrive at the track expecting oversteer and seeking ways of protecting the rear tyres during the race.

"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," team principal Brawn commented, "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 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.

"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."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Honda RA108, German F1 Grand Prix, Hockenheim, 18th-20th, July, 2008
Ross Brawn (GBR) Managing Director, Motor Sports.
Ross Brawn (GBR) Managing Director, Motor Sports.
(L to R): Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 with Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
(L to R): Franz Tost (AUT) Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal; Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso; Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso; James Key (GBR) Scuderia Toro Rosso Technical Director, with the Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12.
(L to R): Franz Tost (AUT) Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal; Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso; Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso; James Key (GBR) Scuderia Toro Rosso Technical Director.
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren Honda MCL32
Chase Carey, Ross Brawn & Sean Bratches
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.