Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Williams Martini Racing Hungarian Grand Prix Preview

(Williams Martini Racing Team)

The Williams Martini Racing Team head to the Hungarian Grand Prix on the outskirts of Budapest this weekend in third place in the Constructors championship having overtaken Ferrari at the German Grand Prix last weekend following Valtteri Bottas' third straight podium finish. The Finn finished a superb second place behind the Mercedes Nico Rosberg. Speaking ahead of this weekend's race Bottas said:

'Budapest is the last race before the summer break. We are aiming for a good result there so we head into the holidays with a good feeling. We know it’s not the best circuit for our car but we are working on getting more grip in the corners and we have some upgrades that should help as well. Qualifying is very important as it’s not an easy track to overtake at; normally the race is hot as well so tyre degradation will be high. A good few practice sessions should help us get the set-up right. There are always a few fans from Finland, it’s almost like a Finnish GP so I hope to pay the fans back with a good result.'

Felipe Massa was extremely unfortunate as the the second race in a row he failed to finish the race through no fault of his own. On the opening lap of the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim at the weekend the Brazilian was involved in an accident that saw his FW36 briefly upside down. 

This weekend the Brazilian returns to the circuit where he nearly lost his life in 2009 when he was hit in the head by a spring that flew off Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP car. Last season while driving for Ferrari, Massa finished the race in 8th place. Massa is currently in 10th place in the Driver's championship on 30 points.

In Hungary this weekend Williams will be hopeful that they will be able to get a double point's finish for the first time since the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring last month. Speaking about this weekend's race Massa commented:

'Hungary is a track where a good power unit is a little less important. Aerodynamics play a higher part and getting good down-force for the corners is vital. We have worked hard to get the car ready for this type of circuit and if that has all worked we should still be competitive. I hope to be able to get lots more points this weekend.'

Williams Martini Racing's Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley stated:

'Hungary is a very high down-force circuit with low efficiency. It’s usually very hot there and with the tyre compounds that Pirelli will be bringing, it’ll be a difficult race. It’s a very important race as it’s the last before the summer break. Psychologically it’s important to get a good haul of points and come away in a strong position. In terms of the track, it’s one where rear tyre graining can be an issue, depending on the modulus of the tyre. In the past, teams have suffered from front graining as well, so it will be a struggle to control both.'

© Ben Johnston 2014

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