McLaren-Honda F1 team driver Jenson Button took his first ever F1 race win at the Hungaroring back in 2006, and so returning to the Budapest track always evokes good memories for the Brit.
“Both Fernando and I won our first grand prix in Hungary, and it’s always a special feeling going back. It’s been 10 years since that first victory – although it doesn’t feel that long – so the Hungaroring is a place that holds great memories.
The Hungarian circuit is one that should in theory suit the McLaren-Honda package, as it is a low power track and will play to the strengths of the MP4-31, whose chassis has always had good grip and downforce. It should also allow the Woking based squad to really feel the benefit of their recent upgrades, brought in ahead of the British Grand Prix last weekend, and give drivers Button and Fernando Alonso the possibility of extracting more performance from the car.
“This circuit is quite different from the last few we’ve been to, so I’m looking forward to heading back to Hungary next weekend. It’s less dependent on power, and much more dependent on traction, cornering speeds and agility, and it’s a really enjoyable challenge.
“The focus is much more on aero, so we’ll run pretty high downforce and try to make the most of our car’s good traction under braking. Hopefully it’ll mean we can keep up with the chasing pack and maybe even make up a bit of ground, too. Although we struggled with our pace in Silverstone, the Hungaroring is a different kettle of fish, so I’m keen to see how we perform there.”
With all that in mind then, Button will be hoping for a strong weekend in Hungary, and although the Brit may not be able to cross his first victory of the season off the list just yet, some good points should be a distinct possibility for the 2009 world champion.
“It suits our car more than some of the other circuits, but of course there are no guarantees, so we’ll be putting in the hard work on Friday to make sure we have the best possible set-up for the demands of this quirky track.”