The F1 Hungarian GP Friday had limited running for the drivers due to the mixed weather conditions but had things like Valtteri Bottas’ engine trouble, Alexander Albon’s crash and more.
While Lewis Hamilton showed his fitness level by completing more than 40 laps in FP1, Bottas couldn’t at all due to an engine issue which Mercedes were not able to fix on time and were forced to change the old power unit on the Finn’s car.
“During my first timed lap in FP1 I had an issue with the engine where I lost power,” he said. “The engine went into a safety mode so I had to come back in. The team couldn’t find the issue immediately, so we decided to swap the Power Unit for FP2.
“We were hoping for more laps in the afternoon, but the weather conditions meant that I only got three proper timed laps in in the dry and a couple in the wet. But at least the car felt good on the few laps I drove it.
“I got a feel for the car balance and an idea of what we need to work on for Saturday. In the wet, the car felt better than it did last weekend, with a nicer balance and more grip. I’m looking forward to properly starting my race weekend on Saturday.”
At this juncture, Mercedes aren’t to be penalised as the engine was in their pool already but the German manufacturer will be hoping that the issue is not big enough and doesn’t affects Hamilton’s car as well as they move into the crucial part of the F1 weekend.
While Mercedes had things to sort out, Ferrari tried their aero upgrade brought for the F1 Hungarian GP weekend, which both Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc felt that it worked as per their expectation in whatever dry run they got.
“The morning session wasn’t bad,” said Vettel. “I’m sure we can improve quite a bit because I don’t think we got all the potential out of the car on my quickest lap. In fact, more than going for a lap time, I was trying to get a good feeling from the car, which is why I think we can make progress.
“Having said that, we must wait until Saturday to see where everyone stands and we know there is still work to do. There’s not much to say about the afternoon, even if, in sessions like the second one there is always something to learn.
“For example we were able to do a few more laps on the intermediate tyres, after those we did in Hockenheim and that was useful for me. As for the aero updates, it’s difficult to assess, but I can say they worked as we had expected.”
The Red Bull Racing drivers were skeptical of Ferrari’s pace as well at Hungaroring as Pierre Gasly reckons that the Italian manufacturer looks to be a in good shape. The pair of them did a solid job too, despite the minor issues faced by Max Verstappen with the spins.
Outside the Top 3, Renault seemed confident about their progress as both Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg were positive about their runs and it reflected well in the standings too. It wasn’t the best time for McLaren though, with both having issues.
Carlos Sainz had water pressure issue in FP1 with his Renault F1 unit, while Lando Norris faced hydraulic leak in FP2, which put them on the backfoot. Fortunately for Norris, FP2 ended up being wet, which means he didn’t lose much track time as Sainz did in FP1.
Apart from these two, Toro Rosso looked in a good shape along with Alfa Romeo Racing drivers. Both teams were represented in the Top 10, with Haas featuring too. It wasn’t a good FP2 for Albon though after his early crash brought out the red flag.
The Thai racer admitted his mistake but like Norris, he did not miss much track time. “In FP1 I think we struggled a little bit with the car, but we knew where we needed to improve,” he said. “Coming into FP2, we made a few changes and we could see straight away, on the couple of laps I did, that it was really positive.
“Unfortunately, I made a mistake at the last corner where I dipped a wheel onto the grass. Honestly, it was a silly error and just a misjudgement. It certainly wasn’t ideal, but in some ways, it’s better today than in FP3. Let’s see where we will pick up from Saturday.”
Teammate Daniil Kvyat had a smoother run though, which was same at Alfa Romeo with Kimi Raikkonen ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi, but both felt to be in a similar boat. But the Haas duo seemed apart as Romain Grosjean admitted that his Melbourne spec doesn’t work in the cooler conditions as Kevin Magnussen‘s latest one does.
It could be seen in the German F1 race too but with the weekend to remain dry, Grosjean will hope that the weather is good enough for the tyres to work. While Williams continued to put on their work, Racing Point had a peculiar outing in the F1 Hungarian GP practices.
Both Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll had spins in the same corner, which both didn’t speak about much. They have upgrades on their car but speculations suggests that the new front wing didn’t make it. If we go by times, the results doesn’t seem positive but only qualifying will tell a better picture if all goes smoothly.