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Damon Hill - Hungaroring


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#1 kensaundm31

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 18:15

He was clearly unnaturally quick around that circuit, even in that backmarker car in '97, I think he was beating Schumacher and/or Villeneuve until engine failure. Has he ever said anything about why he was so fast around there?



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#2 Stephane

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 18:16

Tyres

#3 Deeq

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 18:27

Tyres

Yep, Bridgestones were far superior in that race.

#4 PayasYouRace

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 18:32

Tyres

 

Doesn't account for all the other seasons. Maybe the circuit suited a smooth driver? Lots of long corners, so a driver who is good at maintaining momentum should do well there.



#5 cheekybru

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 18:36

I remember that race I was so excited as a young hill fan as he stuck it on Schumi at turn 1, and so devastated when he got the problem that affected his pace enough to be caught and passed by JV just before the end

Epic performance regardless of tires, didn't notice any of the other Bridgestone cars leading 90% of the race

Edited by cheekybru, 19 May 2024 - 18:37.


#6 pacificquay

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 18:49

Maybe get better answers in The Nostalgia Forum, this was the best part of 30 years ago. I can’t imagine too many threads about the 1970s in here in 2004.

But then again we’ve all grown up with it and nothing seems as long ago as it did when the distant past was for old people.

#7 PayasYouRace

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 19:04

Maybe get better answers in The Nostalgia Forum, this was the best part of 30 years ago. I can’t imagine too many threads about the 1970s in here in 2004.

But then again we’ve all grown up with it and nothing seems as long ago as it did when the distant past was for old people.

 

House Rules:

 

 

* NB Autosport also hosts The Nostalgia Forum (or TNF), a more historically-minded and deliberative forum that's exclusively dedicated to discussing motor racing past. If you have a question you'd like answered or a research interest you want to dive into, you will probably get a better discussion in there. If you want to poll the Racing Comments regulars on whether Nigel Mansell's Indycar career was a success or disappointment, or who was the standout performer of the 2009 F1 season, then be our guest and open a thread in RC.

 

I don't see a problem.



#8 PlatenGlass

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 19:09

Doesn't account for all the other seasons. Maybe the circuit suited a smooth driver? Lots of long corners, so a driver who is good at maintaining momentum should do well there.

He might have been slightly better at that circuit but other than the 1997 race (which has been discussed) I'm not seeing a significant uptick in his performances there. 1993 was opposition free. 1994 he lost to Schumacher. 1995 he won from the front but was still pressured by Schumacher earlier on and nearly lost the lead by going wide onto the dust the way Coulthard lost position to Schumacher. In 1996 he lost to Villeneuve but I think that was mainly the slower start, though he only outqualified him by less than a tenth. Schumacher outqualified both.

#9 AlexPrime

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 19:13

I cried at the end of that race, horrible race... 1998 Belgium was payback  :smoking:



#10 Victor

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 19:19

This belongs to the Nostalgia Forum.



#11 Zippel

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 20:27

Tyres

 

If it was tyres alone then where were the other runners?

 

To add further to the question, Damon at that point in his career had not finished less than 2nd at that race track so it was clear he excelled there. Hill and the recent arrival John Barnard worked together over that weekend to find the perfect set up for the car. That's from Hill's 1998 season and Barnard's biography books.

 

This event happened over 25 years ago when some of the current drivers weren't even born, this is definitely Nostalgia Forum.



#12 garoidb

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 20:29

He might have been slightly better at that circuit but other than the 1997 race (which has been discussed) I'm not seeing a significant uptick in his performances there. 1993 was opposition free. 1994 he lost to Schumacher. 1995 he won from the front but was still pressured by Schumacher earlier on and nearly lost the lead by going wide onto the dust the way Coulthard lost position to Schumacher. In 1996 he lost to Villeneuve but I think that was mainly the slower start, though he only outqualified him by less than a tenth. Schumacher outqualified both.

 

He qualified the Brabham there in 92 also, in a year when they typically did not qualify.



#13 PayasYouRace

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 20:34

This belongs to the Nostalgia Forum.


No it’s fine. See the note from the house rules. Last comment on the matter.

#14 PlatenGlass

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 20:40

He qualified the Brabham there in 92 also, in a year when they typically did not qualify.

 

True, though it might also have been a car thing there - if it was down on horsepower, as rubbish cars often were, it would matter less there. I think it probably was an above average track for him as it happens, just not by as much as some people think. And statistics like this are often cherry-picked. When there are 16 races a year (or 89 as it is now), there's always going to be a race that statistically has had the most this or the least that, regardless of whether there actually is a track-based effect. On a similar note, sometimes you get nonsense from commentators saying that no-one has ever won at this track from 4th on the grid. It generally means nothing (especially if they have won from 5th or lower).



#15 danmills

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 20:51

Hungary has given quite a few drivers their first wins.

 

Damon, Alonso Jenson, Heikki, Ocon...

 

Like Canada. Lewis, Kubica, Alesi, Ricciardo...



#16 PayasYouRace

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 20:58

True, though it might also have been a car thing there - if it was down on horsepower, as rubbish cars often were, it would matter less there.


Well the only other race he qualified for was Silverstone, so can’t put that down to the car favouring Hungaroring.

#17 Risil

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 21:03

I have a feeling it might've been coincidence. Michael Schumacher won 10 million races at Magny-Cours, did that track particularly favour him? Probably not. I think there probably are slight Monaco specialists because the track is so extreme, but I'm not sure about any of the others.

Has Hill expressed any strong opinions about the Hungaroring? (Has anyone :) )

#18 Bloggsworth

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 21:18

Talent.



#19 George Costanza

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 22:06

Combination of talent and tires. Damon Hill is slightly underrated IMHO. A bit more luck, Damon would have been a 3 time world champion. He was actually very very good in 1993. Too many car failings in 1993.

Was he on the same planet as Schumacher or Senna or Max level? No but then again nobody else was. Was he good enough to win another championship or two? Absolutely.

Edited by George Costanza, 19 May 2024 - 22:13.


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#20 Bleu

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Posted 20 May 2024 - 06:24

I can undestand that after dismal start Arrows probably went in the car development to the direction it would suit well certain type of tracks which was set to be slow, high-downforce circuits, which Hungaroring undoubtedly was. On another slow circuit Jerez (Jerez was 4th slowest and Hungaroring 3rd slowest circuit in 1997 calendar), Hill managed to qualify 4th although that race didn't go as well.

 

Talking about tyres, in qualifying second-best Bridgestone runner was 11th (Barrichello). In the race, Nakano was 6th and Trulli 7th but DNFs of both McLarens and Frentzen helped a bit.



#21 Stephane

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Posted 20 May 2024 - 06:42

If it was tyres alone then where were the other runners?

To add further to the question, Damon at that point in his career had not finished less than 2nd at that race track so it was clear he excelled there. Hill and the recent arrival John Barnard worked together over that weekend to find the perfect set up for the car. That's from Hill's 1998 season and Barnard's biography books.

This event happened over 25 years ago when some of the current drivers weren't even born, this is definitely Nostalgia Forum.


About the same happened to Trulli in Austria. Bridgestone was in its first year, there were a few outliers, when everything just worked. Damon's was Hungary.

#22 Anuity

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Posted 20 May 2024 - 07:34

In Austria Trulli and Barrichello were leading the race for some 20 laps with Magnussen running in top 5 as well. Barrichello also managed to qualify that Stewart quite high on several occasions. 

 

i also vaguely remember Diniz setting up fast lap times on couple of occasions in practice sessions. 
So, it was a great race by Damon and made it a nice story, but that year tyres sometimes played a big difference on certain tracks and that was likely the sole main reason in Budapest as well.



#23 azza200

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Posted 20 May 2024 - 09:13

Bridgestone did have a slight tyre advantage in 97 but only a few small teams were running them 



#24 FortiFord

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Posted 20 May 2024 - 09:23

It’s fairly clear that he was particularly good at Hungaroring based on his performances there. In the same way Berger was good at Hockenheim, Alesi at Monza etc.

The Yamaha engine was down on power that season too but the car itself was drivable and therefore suited the circuit.

Last of all, tyres played a factor as always in 97. Generally the Bridgestones did better in warmer conditions and tracks with higher deg (see Argentina and Barcelona). Most of the Goodyear runners selected the wrong tyre (softs) for the weekend as they were expecting race day to be cooler. Oout of the front runners, only HHF selected the hards and he was on course to win the race until his fuel coupling fell off. Conversely, all of the Bridgestone runners (except the Arrows cars) selected the harder tyres which turned out to be too hard and put them too far down the grid whilst not providing a significant wear advantage on race day.

#25 steferrari

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Posted 20 May 2024 - 09:44

Never thought about this, but without that unlucky failure for Damon, Jacques would have been five points away from Schumacher in the last race, so a 2nd place would have been enough for Michael.

Maybe that infamous contact wouldn't have happened.  :lol:

 

Sliding doors!



#26 PayasYouRace

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Posted 20 May 2024 - 10:06

Never thought about this, but without that unlucky failure for Damon, Jacques would have been five points away from Schumacher in the last race, so a 2nd place would have been enough for Michael.
Maybe that infamous contact wouldn't have happened. :lol:

Sliding doors!

Williams might have pushed their appeal at Suzuka to keep Jacques’ two points though.

#27 Gene

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Posted 20 May 2024 - 11:26

I was an engineer at Arrows GP that season.

Over on the Nostalgia Forum I wrote a fairly detailed post regarding this race and the underlying reasons for the out come.

A search of my should be able to find it.

 

Found the link to the thread:

 

https://forums.autos...7-hungarian-gp/


Edited by Gene, 20 May 2024 - 11:40.