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Renault GP preview – 2011 Hungarian GP

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Nick Heidfeld – 2010 Qualifying – n/a, 2010 Race – n/a
“The Hungaroring is one of my favourite circuits. I enjoy driving there and seem to get on well each time I race there so I hope this weekend is no different. I’ve had two F1 podiums at the Hungaroring before, so I’ve got good memories from the place. Normally the conditions are pretty hot, but we’ve just had a quick look at the forecast and actually there is a chance of some rain! I also know that a lot of Polish fans usually attend this race, so it will be a little extra motivation for me driving what was originally Robert’s (Kubica) car. Hopefully we will have some new parts, which will help get our pace up. We want to have a good result, especially before the August break because it would do a lot for our morale to go into the second half of the season on a high. But, if for whatever reason it doesn’t work out and I still know that we’re moving forward and our pace is good, then it wouldn’t be the end of the world. But, no two ways about it, we’re aiming high – we have to, because this is what we’re here for.”

Vitaly Petrov – 2010 Qualifying – 7th, 2010 Race – 5th
“The Hungaroring is a great circuit and I’ve got good memories from my time there in GP2. I won my first race in Budapest, so it’s always great to come back. The atmosphere is great with a lot of fans watching so I’m always happy to go back. And yes, there are lots of Russians in Budapest too, so I will be doing everything I can to give my team and them a good result. It’s quite technical and you need the right setup to be successful there. There are just two high speed corners but the rest is more technical. Car set-up is very important in Budapest.”

Eric Boullier, Renault team principal
“Hungary has been a big part of Formula One for 25 years now. It was a completely ground-breaking move to make it a race venue back in the mid-1980s, and I think the decision to do so has been vindicated. It put F1 on the map, and behind the Iron Curtain for the first time; it has helped raise its profile in a part of Europe where the sport had not travelled. We know that when we get to Hungary there will be fans everywhere; the Hungarian people love their motorsport and we’re really looking forward to getting our campaign back on-track in front of a motor racing-mad crowd. Make no mistake, we will try to give the LRGP fans in Budapest something to cheer about this weekend, even if the podium looks a bit far from us at the moment. I’ve expected improvement from our car for a number of races now, and we are making improvement, but we have got to get our heads down and make bigger strides. It’s a competitive field out there, with Force India and Sauber also competing in higher positions, so we’ve got to raise our game starting in Hungary.”

James Allison, Renault technical director
“Like Monaco, the Hungaroring is all about qualifying. DRS will skew things a little, but it will remain very tough to overtake. Getting a good qualifying lap will involve having a car which has a good high downforce setup and is able to cope with some of the bumps around the track. It is tough for race engineers and drivers alike. Setup changes normally yield results which are of the order of 0.1sec/lap, but the track evolution can be over 1sec/lap. The challenge is the same for all teams however.”


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