Heikki Kovalainen knows what to expect on his Hungarian Grand Prix debut - and none of it sounds comfortable.

Despite that, however, the Finn is looking forward to returning to the Hungaroring for the first time since finishing on the podium there in GP2 in 2005, relishing the opportunity to test himself on one of the circuits that drivers regard as a proper test of their ability.

"It's a fun track to drive, but it is a very demanding track physically for the drivers, because it can be very hot and there are no straights on which you can recover," he explained, "The corners follow quickly one after the other, the track surface is quite bumpy and you have to maintain concentration over 70 laps. We all enjoy tackling challenges like that, feeling the car on the limit and trying to push a little bit more to go even faster... I think it's a circuit where the drivers can make a real difference, and that probably explains why we all enjoy it."

Although Monaco didn't go his way back in May, Kovalainen is more optimistic that the R27's performance there in the hands of team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella and his own recent results can produce an antidote to the disappointment of a failed Renault gamble at the Nurburgring two weekends ago.

"We will certainly be aiming for that!" he exclaimed, "We did three days of running in Jerez last week to prepare for the hot conditions we expect in Hungary and Turkey, and I think everybody is determined to have a strong race this weekend. There are some more new parts on the car for this race, so I am looking forward to starting our work on Friday.

"There are not really any high-speed corners in Hungary, so that means our main focus will be on the mechanical balance, and getting the car working on the high downforce levels to make sure we are quick in the slower corners. You also need good braking stability, and good change of direction through the sequence of corners after turn five. Strong traction is important, but this is an area in which the R27 is usually strong.

"I found out in GP2 how difficult it is to overtake there, and it means that, like in Monaco, it is absolutely essential to qualify well. If we can do that, then we will be in a position to run an aggressive race and try to score more points.We will need to work hard to get the car working well, but I think we will be able to achieve a good result this weekend. We will certainly be pushing to the maximum!"

 

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