Third time’s a charm…
It’s race week… again! The Formula 1 team’s busy summer of racing continues this weekend with the Hungarian Grand Prix, the final event of the triple header of races that kick-started the 2020 season. After two events on the fast layout of Austria, team’s head to Budapest for something at the other end of the scale – the tight and twisty Hungaroring.
Once famously described as “Monaco without the walls” (and the yachts, one may add), this track, first added to the F1 calendar in 1986, has often produced chaotic races and surprise results; usually placed just before summer shutdown in the baking heat of early August, it’s a technical track with corners in quick succession, one that offers tough conditions for the drivers, who can only catch a breath – briefly – on the short home straight. It’s also a venue that can be challenging for the crew in the garage: even though we are a few weeks earlier than the race’s usual slot, the temperature in Budapest is expecting to be soaring and, coming at the end of three weeks of relentless work, it will put a strain on bodies and minds.
Complicated races, however, are often those which produce opportunities: as such, the Alfa Romeo Racing team will all need to be in tip-top form to make the most of any chance coming their way. The work of understanding and extracting the potential out of the C39 continues, and the team have shown in Austria (both weeks) that both their cars can be in contention for the points.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG:
“Starting the season with a triple header is a challenge, but also an opportunity. It’s a chance for us to put into practice all we learnt in the first two races and continue to improve our car, having immediate answers to our questions. We have made steps forward between the first and the second race in Austria and that is the path on which we aim to continue in Budapest. Of course, the track is a completely different kind compared to the Red Bull Ring, so we will need to adapt. We have scored points in one race and finished just outside the top ten in the other: we know that if we do our job right, we can come home with a positive result.”
Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
“Hungary as a track is the opposite of what we experienced in Austria. The track is narrow and slow, so setting up the car will be a completely different challenge compared to the last two weeks. Overtaking here is difficult, so optimising our performance in qualifying will be crucial if we want to make the most of our race pace. The battle in the midfield is quite close, so starting ahead of your rivals is a big advantage we need to take. We had a good race here last summer and hopefully we can come home with another strong result.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
“It’s race number three of the season and I can’t wait to be in the car again. We have learnt a lot in the last two races and I feel our performance has increased from the first race to last weekend’s, so it is time to turn this progress into points. The track in Budapest should suit us a bit better than Austria, so we can be confident to be in the mix from the start of the weekend to the end.”