Romain Grosjean arrives at the Hungaroring for round ten of the 2015 Formula 1 season on the back of two consecutive retirements, but the Frenchman will be looking for a return to the points this weekend.
The Lotus F1 Team driver enjoys coming to Hungary to race, and hopes to head into the mid-season summer break with a positive result. He pinpoints the usual high temperatures as the main issue drivers face at the Hungaroring, as well as the slippery surface early in the weekend due to the circuit having limited running throughout the season.
“I love Budapest and I love the Hungaroring,” revealed Grosjean. “It’s a place where I really look forward to visiting every year. It is usually sunny and hot and is just before the summer break so you give all the energy you have before you go on holiday. It is an exciting Grand Prix every year.
“In terms of driving, it’s not the most physically challenging in terms of high speed corners, but the heat you experience in the cockpit can be quite an issue. It can also be a difficult circuit early in the weekend as the track is not used very much, meaning it’s quite slippery when you first go out.”
Grosjean has fond memories of the Hungaroring, having taken a podium finish on the back of his maiden front row grid slot back in 2012, while in 2013 he finished sixth. He knows the importance of having a good qualifying session in Hungary, with the track not known for being one easy to pass on, even with the Drag Reduction System in place.
“It’s a great track and one that’s suited us in the past,” said Grosjean. “It was great to be on the podium there in 2012. I can remember feeling frustrated that year as we did have a chance to be fighting for the win, but that didn’t work out because of traffic.
“I like the circuit and its style of up and downs and twisty corners. I like the feeling you get when driving on the track and the grip you get from it. I’ve been very quick in qualifying pretty much every time there.
“It’s a tight and twisty track so you really do need a good qualifying result. We showed in 2012 that being on the front row certainly helps and 2013’s P3 wasn’t too bad either. It is hard to overtake at the Hungaroring making qualifying very, very important and equally so the race strategy.”
Grosjean knows the Hungaroring will not play to the high-speed strengths of the E23 Hybrid, but feels a fifth points finish of the season could be there for the taking with the progress the team have been making with the car.
“The E23 works well and we seem to be able to extract pretty good performance from it at most tracks we visit,” insisted Grosjean. “The Hungaroring is not a high-speed circuit so it won’t play to the strength of our car through the speed traps, but we’ve worked pretty well in the low speed stuff.
“The tyre allocation of the soft and medium compound Pirelli is certainly quite a conservative one, but we should be able to go quite well. I think if we start the weekend well we could have quite a strong race and bag some more juicy points ahead of the summer break.”