Dave Robson says the Hungaroring will be another good test for Williams Racing and their FW45, with the high downforce levels required a very different challenge to what they faced two weeks ago at Silverstone.
Williams enjoyed one of their strongest weekends of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season last time out, with Alexander Albon scoring four points for eighth place and Logan Sargeant only just missing out on his maiden top ten in eleventh.
And Robson, the Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams, admits this weekend will see a big contrast in aero set-up compared to Silverstone, but it will be a good test to see how well the FW45 can perform in a high-downforce setup.
“The Hungaroring is an interesting contrast to Silverstone and will be another good test of the car and drivers,” said Robson. “Most cars will run maximum downforce at this short twisty track, which will provide an interesting comparison across the field.
“As is often the case in Budapest in July, the weather is forecast to be hot with a risk of thunderstorms. We will keep an eye on this as we approach the sessions, but hopefully the rain will only fall in the evening.”
Following the cancellation of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix earlier this year, this weekend will see the first try out of the new ‘Alternative Tyre Allocation’ Qualifying session, with Q1 seeing the mandatory use of the hard tyre, Q2 the medium and Q3 the soft.
There will also only be eleven available sets across the weekend compared to the usual thirteen, and Robson says it will be interesting to see how the teams attack the weekend with all this knowledge.
“With the earlier cancellation of the event in Imola, this weekend is the first ‘Alternative Tyre Allocation (ATA)’ event of the season,” Robson added. “Each driver has fewer sets of tyres available than normal, and the use of specific tyre compounds is mandated in each of the three qualifying sessions.
“It will be interesting to see how each team chooses to use the limited supply of tyres, especially as Pirelli have provided their softest compounds for this weekend.”