Brendon Hartley is ‘up for the challenge’ of racing at one of the most physically demanding tracks on the Formula 1 schedule this weekend, with the championship moving on to the Hungaroring for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver will arrive in Hungary on the back of only his second top-ten finish of the season last weekend at the Hockenheimring, and he has positive memories of racing in Hungary in junior formulae and in LMP2 machinery, finishing second there in the 2013 round of the European Le Mans Series with Murphy Prototypes.
“I’ve raced at the Hungaroring quite a few times over the years, in Formula Renault 2.0 and Renault 3.5,” said Hartley. “I also recall having a really good race there in LMP2. It’s a track I enjoy and one at which I usually go well.
“I’m told that, in a Formula 1 car, it’s one of the most physically demanding tracks of the year, as there are no straights where you can catch your breath. My fitness is good and I’m feeling up to the challenge in the hot conditions.”
Hartley understands the importance of Qualifying at the Hungaroring, with overtaking traditionally difficult due to the tight confines of the circuit, and he will be looking to escape out of Q1 for the first time since June’s Canadian Grand Prix this weekend.
“The emphasis on qualifying will be even higher than usual here, because of the difficulty of overtaking, even if it’s not quite as tight as Monaco,” said Hartley. “It is high downforce however, as well as being probably one of the least power-sensitive tracks on the calendar.”
Hartley knows the crowd in Hungary is always passionate and he is looking forward to experience that for the first time as a Formula 1 driver this weekend, but his main ambition is to take some momentum into the summer break by scoring points for a second consecutive weekend.
“The crowd has always been great at the Hungaroring with passionate racing fans, I’m looking forward to soaking up that atmosphere,” said the New Zealander. “It’s a cool city to be at, I’ve spent a few days there in the past and I enjoy the city.
“After finishing in the points in Hockenheim I will do my best to keep the momentum and head into the summer break with good vibes.”