Carlos Sainz admitted that since the new Formula 1 cars have much more downforce, the Hungaroring is not a slow track as it was in the past, and that might not help Ferrari.
Sainz also said that even though the current cars are very fast, overtaking on this track is still difficult, and he believes it will be the same as the previous years.
“I don’t expect the overtaking to be any different,” he said. “[But] the feeling that you get behind the wheel around this track, it’s not anymore like you’re slow. The track itself, for me, feels more like a medium-to-high-speed track rather than a slow-speed track.
“I say that because I remember racing here back in 2015 with a much narrower tire, much lower downforce, and the track felt slow. But now with these cars, since all the development we’ve [had] since 2017 and even though everyone has tried to slow them down, the cars we were lapping last year on 1’13 and I remember coming here in 2015 and going below 1’20 was a good lap time and 1’13 around here is crazy.”
The Ferrari driver underlined once again that the fact that the current cars can go that fast must be considered, and it is incredible.
“I don’t think we talk about it enough that we are doing 1’13s around the Hungaroring and in the car the feel is just fourth, fifth gear, change direction, change direction always nearly above 180, 200kph. Yes, you have your hairpins here and there, but it doesn’t feel slow speed anymore.”
Sainz also added that the fact that the track became faster does not help Ferrari since the SF21 is better on slow tracks like Monaco.
“That’s why I mean that our car might not be that good [here]. It would be better than in Silverstone, I hope, but it’s not the low speed of Monaco and that is where we excelled.”
To conclude, Carlos said that Ferrari might also struggle with the tires as it did in France, and there is still a big question mark on what happened that weekend. However, the warm temperatures might help the Scuderia.
“We always have tires in the back of our mind going into every weekend because we know we do struggle sometimes with this limitation. But the fact that it’s going to be warm like it was in Silverstone and Austria, makes us a bit more relaxed about it.
“Whenever it gets cold and whenever the balance shifts towards the front, that’s where we have seen recently our limitations increase. The weather and the track conditions [this weekend] shouldn’t, I hope – and I touch wood – shouldn’t be too much of a limitation.”