Although his race results might not be showing it, Enzo Fittipaldi feels that he’s “much faster” than he was 12 months ago, and the Charouz Racing System driver says that the team are working tirelessly to help him prove it.
Fittipaldi scored his first points of the season in Spielberg last time out, with a spat of post-race penalties promoting him to fourth in Race 1, before a P8 finish in Race 2.
Poor Qualifying results have put Fittipaldi on the backfoot in races, with the Brazilian yet to qualify higher than 15th so far this season, and while he has often been able to fight towards the points’ places, a better starting position in Budapest would make his life a lot easier.
“This is a very competitive championship, and it isn’t easy when you start further back because there is a big train of cars in front of you and a lot of dirty air,” said Fittipaldi. “It is very difficult to overtake when everyone in front of you and behind you has DRS.
“It depends on the track of course. Austria was quite a bit of fun, but I think Hungary will be one of those tracks where Qualifying is very important. It is a difficult track to overtake on.
“I think the only real area to overtake on is the last corner into Turn 1. If the guy in front of you doesn’t have DRS, then that puts you in a good striking position, but otherwise, it is quite a difficult track to make a move on. There are a lot of tight, high-speed corners and not many long straights, so Qualifying is going to be very important.”
Despite results not quite swinging his way so far, Fittipaldi is confident that his improvements will soon show on track and that his season can turn around on the back of the performances in Spielberg.
“Both outside of the track and inside of the track, I have more experience,” he continued. “I know the tyres better now and it’s about taking that experience from last year and bringing it into this year.
“I think that I am a much stronger driver and a much faster driver, even though you haven’t been able to see that at times this year - but we are working to make it happen.”