Remi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations: The Hungarian Grand Prix stands in total contrast to the previous Grands Prix. It is a very slow track, with one lap taken at just 55% full throttle as opposed to the 65 – 70% of the last four races. The average speed is expected to be a touch over 180kph, with each corner taken from second to fourth gear. It's therefore not particularly power sensitive and the ICE will have a relatively easy time at this race. For these reasons we concentrate on delivering the most driveable Power Unit rather than looking at top end speed. In the V8 era it was standard practice to use a unit on its third race and the same principle will be applied this year as we will use V6 ICEs on one of the last races of their lives, if possible.
The turbo, MGU-H and MGU-K will be highly solicited, however, as driveability is crucial to minimising lap time due to the high volume of slow speed turns. The heavy braking zones will provide the K with the opportunity to recover energy. Sector two, the twistiest part of the track, is the main chance to do so since the cars negotiate mainly third gear corners, with a top speed of no more than 245kph at any one time. The small bursts of power between the corners will likewise give the H the chance to recover the heat energy from the exhaust. These intense periods will however be extremely unforgiving on the internals and we may well use a part in the earlier stage of its life to give improved performance and reliability.
Of all the races in the first part of the season, this is the one where the turbo will be the most obvious. The driver is constantly on and off the power and having a turbo that can kick in instantly with accurate power will greatly reduce lap time by improving driveability.
All round, the Hungaroring may be a slow track but it's definitely not an easy place to finish the first part of the year!
Hungary in numbers - with 1 being the easiest, 5 being the most severe
Internal Combustion Engine: 2
Fuel Consumption: 3
Energy Recovery: 5
Renault Energy F1-2014 Fast Facts:
The main energy recovery points for the MGU-K will be the first corner, where the cars will brake from almost 300kph to under 100kph, and almost the entirety of sector two. Turns six and seven in particular (the chicane) feature another heavy braking zone that gives further opportunity.
With few long straights, the MGU-H must recover energy on the short bursts of power between corners. Other than the pit straight, the 790m straight from turns three to four is the only genuine straight; the other bursts are less than a couple of seconds.
Ambient temperatures are expected to be hot this weekend, with the mercury well over the 30°C mark. The German Grand Prix was good preparation in this respect as advanced cooling and heat dissipation strategies were trialled to prevent overheating.
While the track is not particularly hard on the ICE, it is tough on the ERS and its constituent parts. Power Units may therefore be a ‘mix and match' of parts, with components of different ages or life cycles used. Having this flexibility allows greater optimisation at Hungary, while freeing up parts for later in the year when they may be used to better effect.
Renault engines have won at the Hungaroring seven times, all in the normally aspirated era. The V10 claimed victory five times between 1990 and 1997 with the V8 powering Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber to wins in 2003 and 2010 respectively.