Fernando Alonso feels the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team maximised their weekend at Silverstone two weeks ago, but he is hopeful of a more competitive weekend this time around in Hungary.
The veteran Spaniard equalled his worst result of the season in the British Grand Prix when he took seventh place, and he lost some ground to Sergio Pérez as the two battle for second place in the Drivers’ Championship.
Alonso has fond memories of the Hungaroring as he took his maiden race victory at the track back in 2003 with the Renault F1 Team, and twenty years later he is aiming for a return to the podium, something he has achieved six times this season already.
“I think we extracted the maximum from a challenging weekend at Silverstone,” said Alonso. “It was great to be racing in front of the British fans and also to spend some time at the new Technology Campus.
“We now switch our focus to Budapest. I have many good memories of racing at the Hungaroring. I won my first ever race in Formula One in 2003, exactly 20 years ago, and it’s often the venue where I have celebrated my birthday.
“It’ll be strange to celebrate that this year in Belgium, but let’s hope we have something else to celebrate this weekend. Overtaking isn’t easy here, but sometimes there are very strange races with unpredictable weather, so we have to be ready to capitalise and score as many points as possible.”
“We’ll be looking to find a good rhythm in the practice sessions” – Lance Stroll
Team-mate Lance Stroll says it will be important to deliver a strong performance in Qualifying at the Hungaroring this weekend, with overtaking notoriously difficult due to the tight and twisty nature of the track.
The Canadian saw his three race run of scoring points end at Silverstone as he failed to break into the top ten, before a time penalty for avoidable contact with Pierre Gasly relegated him to fourteenth.
Despite the difficulty in passing, Stroll is ready to race around the Hungaroring, with its grandstands likely to once again be filled with passionate and knowledgeable fans all weekend long.
And he knows that he and the team will need to find a rhythm quickly in practice if they are to have maximise their Qualifying effort and put themselves into a good position for race day.
“The Hungaroring is a super technical circuit with plenty of twists and turns; it’s a very different challenge to Silverstone for both the cars and the drivers,” said Stroll. “Stylistically, it’s more like a karting track with sequences of tight corners and only one real straight, so we’re hopeful that it should suit the AMR23.
“Overtaking can be tough, so we’ll be looking to find a good rhythm in the practice sessions to ensure we deliver a strong performance in Qualifying on Saturday.
“Budapest is a great city, and the fans always bring an incredible atmosphere, so I’m looking forward to racing there.”