Leading Malaysian racing driver, Jazeman Jaafar, heads off to Budapest this week for the fourth round of the prestigious Formula Renault 3.5 Series, a feeder series to the highest level of the sport, Formula 1. The PETRONAS Talent Development Programme driver is lying third in the championship after a strong start to the season which has included a landmark win in Monaco and a second place podium in the last round at Spa-Francorchamps.
The Hungaroring circuit in Budapest is the destination for the next event and Jazeman, driving with Fortec Motorsport this year, is keen to be racing for more podiums and wins at this track, one of the venues on the F1 calendar.
Jazeman says of the weekend ahead, “I had quite a strong weekend at Hungaroring last year and I’m really looking to be up the front again. Having had a solid start to the season as we head towards mid-season I know I need to be around and about the top three in every session. The key is to get the car set up sorted in the first practice session. If we can get to the top of the timesheets in that, we can then build on this to stay there through the rest of the weekend.”
“Weather was a factor here last year”, adds Jazeman. “but I think the forecast is dry and hot, so it will be a different challenge. It will probably be the tyres which will be the focus if that’s the case, and I’ll need to be conserving them as well as trying to go flat out each lap. It’s quite a physical track, as there are no long straights and it’s quite twisty and bumpy, so keeping cool in the cockpit will be difficult too. But whatever the weather, I’m just looking forward to getting back on track again and continuing with the momentum of the season. “
Jazeman says of the track, “It’s a fantastic circuit for spectators as it’s in a natural valley and from any vantage point you can see around 80% of the track. This, together with the popularity of the World Series by Renault weekend, ensures that there will be plenty of people watching trackside – last year, there were around 92,000 and if the sun does shine I’m sure it will top that this time.”
The two 50 minutes Friday practice sessions take place at 10.00 and 14.10, with qualifying early on Saturday morning from 08.30 – 9.00. The first of the weekend’s two races is at 11.45, a 40 minutes race without a mandatory pitstop. Qualifying for the second race takes place at 08.30 on Sunday morning and the race is at 13.00, another 40 minutes timed race, with a mandatory pitstop between laps 5 and 14.
For broadcast times check local Eurosport schedules.