2015 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix Race Preview.
Saying goodbye to Jules was incredibly hard for everyone. For myself, I wished I had known him better. But from what I knew of him, he was a kind heart with a great spirit and a bright future. Now our sport embarks on a tough road ahead. We have been shown once more the dangers of our sport, that these should be respected and that we drivers commit ourselves to the chance that those dangers are there when we step into the car. We have made great progress for safety thus far and I know that the FIA will continue to make steps forward to improve even further. Hungary is a beautiful place, one of my favourites. I will be carrying Jules with me in my prayers and thoughts, not only this race but for the rest of my driving days. I know he'd want us to race hard as he did, and so I will.
It has been a very emotional week. The drivers paid our final respects to Jules and said farewell. He was a very talented driver and a good guy. My thoughts in these days are with his family and close friends. Everyone will be sharing the same feelings in the paddock this week – but we must race on and race hard for Jules as he would have wanted to be doing himself. It’s the final race before the team gets a well-earned break and I’ll be pushing as always to give everyone something positive to take into their holidays. It’s a tough track on the driver – narrow, very twisty and usually very hot. It’s one of those circuits where you can really show your skill and that makes it a good challenge. The race here last year wasn’t ideal for me in the end – but it’s a proper circuit, in a beautiful city, with big crowds always filling the grandstands, so I’m looking forward to it and hoping bring home a stronger result this time around.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
It has been a difficult week for the motorsport family. My first thoughts go to the family and friends of Jules – the loss of a child is something for which there are no words, and on behalf of the team I send them strength for the days and weeks ahead. I personally remember the first time I heard of an incredibly talented young French guy with an Italian name back in 2007 – how he performed in his F3 rookie season in 2008, then dominated the following year to become Champion. That is how we will remember Jules: as an extraordinary Champion. And we will honour his memory by continuing to improve the safety of the drivers, team members, circuit workers and spectators under the leadership of the FIA. Now we look forward to Hungary and the final race before the mid-season break. A strong result will give us positive momentum to carry through the summer.
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
We approach Hungary determined to get a good result and to head into the summer break on a positive note. The Hungaroring is an interesting circuit – predominantly low and medium speed with a short straight, plenty of challenging corners and a lot of elevation changes. It can be tricky to find the right compromise on suspension and it’s also tough on brakes. Mostly though, it’s about cornering ability, with teams running maximum downforce. Overtaking is tough but not impossible, so when passing manoeuvres do occur they’re usually pretty special – there have been some bold, race-defining moves at the Hungaroring across the years. Through the weekend, we will also have Jules Bianchi and his family uppermost in our thoughts. Important lessons have been learned from his tragic accident last year and changes implemented to prevent that kind of accident recurring. Motorsport can never be free of risk – but these moments remind us all of the responsibility we bear to continuously improve safety in motorsport for all of its participants.
The Hungarian Grand Prix takes place at the Hungaroring on July 26th at 2pm (local Hungarian time).