Overtaking at the Hungaroring

The Renault F1 Team drivers explain how you can make up positions at the Hungarian circuit. In order to change the characteristics of the Hungaroring, which is notoriously difficult to overtake on, changes were made to the layout ...

Overtaking at the Hungaroring

The Renault F1 Team drivers explain how you can make up positions at the Hungarian circuit.

In order to change the characteristics of the Hungaroring, which is notoriously difficult to overtake on, changes were made to the layout last year.

Franck Montagny.
Photo by LAT Photographic.

"With the changes to the first corner, the straight is longer and the drivers must brake in a straight line, which means there is an opportunity to overtake before a slow corner," explains Renault F1 Team third driver Franck Montagny.

"In general, that combination works: a straight followed by heavy braking and then a tight corner." This is the profile offered by the hairpins at Magny-Cours, Melbourne and Hockenheim. "With circuits that match this profile, you can create exciting races," smiles Franck.

However, the changes made at the end of the lap have made no real difference. It still remains very hard to overtake in Budapest.

However, the driver can sometimes make a difference. "You can still pressure a slower car into making a mistake," explains Jarno Trulli. "When that happens, it is possible to overtake. You sometimes only need to jink about behind the car in front under braking. With a bit of luck, your rival will miss his braking point and open the door."

However, to do this, you need a perfect car. "Everything must be perfect to be quick. For example, too much tyre degradation at the end of a run means you are going slower... and thus might be overtaken," continues Jarno.

Getting the right set-up is primordial. "A car that is very quick over one lap is not necessarily one that will let you overtake," reveals Fernando Alonso.

"In effect, grip in the slow sections brings a better lap time... but you have lower straightline speed because you are running too much wing. But the thing is, you can keep somebody behind you through the corners -- you can't do anything on the straight..." The engine step for Budapest could prove useful for this.

Finally, overtaking is all about your approach. "Some drivers can, some can't," explains the Spaniard. "You need to know how to take risks, and try everything: sometimes, you don't pull it off. But the reward is worth the effort..."

-renault-

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