DeFrancesco ready to bounce back in Budapest
Carlin driver Devlin DeFrancesco is looking forward to making his debut at the Hungaroring (30 June – 2 July), as he eyes another podium in the Euroformula Open championship.
After a stellar start to the season in which the Canadian-Italian has taken two overall podiums, Devlin heads to Budapest fifth in the Drivers’ Championship and third in the rookie standings.
Coming off the back of a difficult Paul Ricard weekend, with a snapped accelerator cable forcing his retirement from race one before recovering to take another rookie podium on Sunday, Devlin is hopeful of better fortunes in Hungary and is confident of recording another top-three finish.
“We’ve done quite a lot of work in the simulator already and we look pretty good,” Devlin said. “The aim for this weekend is to be back on the podium after the problems we had at Paul Ricard. We have to work extra hard if we are to be on the top step, but I’m confident that we can fight at the front.”
This will be Devlin’s first outing at the Hungaroring and the 2016 F4 British Championship front-runner is looking forward to the physical nature of the flowing 4.381 km circuit, set in the capital city of Budapest.
“It’s hard to pinpoint precisely one section of the track that I’m looking forward to tackling,” Devlin continued. “The quick left-hander of Turn 5 is probably an area that stands out, but then there’s also the chicane before the fast and flowing section of the lap which is very challenging on the simulator.
“Everybody knows that overtaking is quite difficult here, but there are definitely some areas where it’s possible. Overall, the track is very demanding on us drivers, as there are many sections where you come out of one corner and you’re straight into the next. I’m excited to get going.”
The Hungarian venue has provided some memorable races since being opened in 1986 and Devlin recalls the dramatic Grand Prix in 2014 as an example of how the circuit can provide some exciting action.
“In mixed conditions, anything can happen at the Hungaroring,” Devlin explained. “Look at how the Grand Prix unfolded here in 2014, it was a thrilling race. If the weather’s similar this weekend, who knows what could happen? It will certainly level up the field a little bit and we should have even closer racing.”
Having watched his fellow Canadians Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi and Zachary Claman DeMelo have successful weekends in their respective categories (Formula 1, Formula 2 and Indy Lights), Devlin is prepared to wave the Maple Leaf this weekend.
“Hats off to Lance for a great result in Baku (Azerbaijan),” Devlin concluded. “I raced against him early in my karting career and I’m very happy to see him have a great weekend. We also had Nicholas getting a double podium in F2 and Zachary taking his maiden Indy Lights victory at Road America, so now the pressure is on me!”
Track time will be plentiful this weekend for Devlin, with a private test on Thursday. Free practice will begin on Friday, before the first qualifying session and race one get underway on Saturday. There will also be a second qualifying heat and race on Sunday.