Friday practice - selected team and driver quotes 30 Jul 2010
The morning session may have been dominated by the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, but by the afternoon the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa had joined the fray at the front. The leading teams and their rivals reflect on their early progress in Budapest
Sebastian Vettel, P1 - 1:20.976, 1st; P2 - 1:20.087, 1st
I think this morning didnt really give a clear picture of each teams pace, but this afternoon it was tighter. The Ferraris seem very quick again here, on both the long and short runs. They will be quick again tomorrow and we also shouldnt forget the McLarens; they have proven many times this year that they can make a step forward from Friday to Saturday. Its a difficult track here, quite bumpy and rough, but the car feels good.
Mark Webber, P1 - 1:21.106, 2nd; P2 - 1:20.597, 3rd
That was pretty good - we got through everything we wanted. The car ran faultlessly and the guys did a good job. The track keeps getting quicker and we learned quite a bit today. The Ferraris look quick again, so weve got to keep an eye on them - you never know what fuel loads people are running on Friday. Im looking forward to tomorrow.
Fernando Alonso, P1 - 1:22.772, 7th; P2 - 1:20.087, 2nd
I hope we can stay close to our main rivals, who seemed very strong today and be able to fight them in Q3 tomorrow afternoon. For now, we are still a bit behind by a few tenths, even if we wont know the truth until qualifying. We certainly need to work on the set-up of the car to improve its performance, especially in the second and third sectors. Compared to Hockenheim, where the car was well balanced, here we are suffering with a bit too much understeer, but all the same it feels pretty good. We did various aerodynamic tests and, in the end, it seems the car is more competitive without the blown rear wing. Overall, we are happy with how things went today, even if we are well aware that one cannot rely much on Fridays times. As for McLaren, whom one should not forget lead both championships, we seem to have the upper hand, but so often we have seen them struggle on a Friday before then being very competitive. Tomorrow afternoon, it will be very important to secure a place in the top three because it would be hard to fight for the win starting further back.
Felipe Massa, P1 - 1:23.007, 12th; P2 - 1:20.986, 4th
As has generally been the case this year, we need to work on our performance on the first timed lap: our main rivals manage to set a time quickly while we struggle a bit more. This is vital, especially for qualifying which, at a track like this, is even more critical than usual. In particular, we have to get the front tyres working as well as possible. In terms of race pace, I would say we are pretty good, as was also demonstrated in Hockenhiem. Returning to driving at this track was not difficult for me: when you are in the car and you shut the visor, you only think about going quickly. It was definitely good yesterday to go to the medical centre and meet the people who took care of me immediately after the accident, and it was equally emotional to have dinner with the surgeon who operated on me at Budapests AEK hospital: I wish to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone for what they did for me one year ago; they are really extraordinary people.
Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari team principal
Overall, we are reasonably pleased with what we have seen today. The car seems to be competitive, although it has to be said that the Red Bulls were very strong. Now we must prepare as well as possible for qualifying and the race, with the aim of picking up a lot of points, continuing in the same vein as we began in Hockenheim.
Chris Dyer, Ferrari chief engineer
It was a very busy day because we had so many irons in the fire. This morning, we concentrated on development of new solutions for the forthcoming races, almost like an old-style test day and we also tried to evaluate carefully the performance of some aerodynamic updates which we brought here, as well as looking at the behaviour of the F10 with and without the blown rear wing. In the second session, we went back to the standard Friday programme, looking at defining the best set up of the car and tyre work. We completed both programmes with no particular problems, apart from a small electrical fault towards the end on Alonsos car, which prevented him from getting the most out of the long run on soft tyres. From what we have seen, the performance is reasonably good: we can expect a very close qualifying and we hope to be in the fight for the front rows.
Vitaly Petrov, P1 - 1:23.249, 13th; P2 - 1:21.195, 5th
It was a good day of practice and I found a good balance with the car. I know this track well and, with the updates we have here, the car feels much better. In the morning we did some basic set-up work and in the afternoon I tried some new parts, including our new rear wing which has much more downforce. I ran with both tyre compounds and the track conditions were not too bad, which helped us. Tomorrow morning we still need to keep working away little by little to be ready for qualifying.
Robert Kubica, P1 - 1:22.072, 3rd; P2 - 1:21.375, 7th
It was a fairly normal Friday for us. We tried to get as much information as we could and we were quite lucky with the weather because I think there was quite a lot of rain close to the track, but we got away with two dry sessions, which was what we needed. The track was pretty good straight away, so we were able to have consistent driving conditions throughout the day. We tried to get a feeling for the two tyre compounds and the different parts on the car.
Alan Permane, Renault chief race engineer
It has been a very busy day for both cars - busier than normal because we have had a lot of parts to test and both drivers, car crews and engineers have done a very good job to get through the work load. Both drivers appear to be going well here, although they were running slightly different programmes today. It can often be quite dirty off the racing line at this circuit, but it was better than usual. The track was in good condition from the start of the day, although it certainly improved in the afternoon. We didn't do a tyre comparison as such, but we did a lot of work with the super-soft tyre and ran it with high and low fuel to assess its qualifying and long run pace. Overall, it looks very good and we didn't find any problems. We did a rear wing comparison with Vitaly and ran our floor upgrade with both cars. We also have a new front wing here and both cars will run with all these parts tomorrow.
Lewis Hamilton, P1 - 1:24.075, 18th; P2 - 1:21.308, 6th
Its been an interesting day. Weve just been focusing on our package and trying to optimise what we have. And the car was the best Ive ever driven around here - it felt really great through the corners. But, even so, were losing quite a bit of time in the middle sector, and a couple of tenths in the first and third sectors, too. And then, as you start to push harder, in order to close the gap to the guys in front, the car begins to feel like its a little bit on the ragged edge. I think were pretty much getting the best out of the package we have - were dialling-in the set-up pretty effectively - but theres still maybe a few tenths to come. So we know weve got a lot of work to do: this weekend is really about scoring as many points as we can, and hoping the guys ahead run into trouble. Its going to be tough, but weve got to take the rough with the smooth and stay focused. And well do that, no doubt about it. As always, of course, Ill be pushing as hard as I can.
Jenson Button, P1 - 1:22.444, 4th; P2 - 1:21.730, 9th
Im reasonably happy with the car today. It didnt feel too great on the Option tyre, but the balance was good on the Prime. However, were a little bit behind the Red Bulls and the Ferraris. Its probably therefore going to be a tricky weekend for us. There are still areas where we can improve, which is positive, but were unlikely to close the gap completely here in Hungary. Hopefully, though, well see an improvement tomorrow, and that will move us closer. Still, we need to be doing the best job we can with the equipment we have, and thats exactly what well be doing. I know all the guys back at the McLaren Technology Centre are working flat-out to keep improving this car, and Ive got absolute belief in them.
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
Todays programme was organised a little differently from our regular Friday sessions, as we undertook some shorter evaluative runs during P1 this morning. While were encouraged by both drivers feedback, and by the overall balance of the car, the pace of the front-runners was somewhat unexpected. Nevertheless, weve amassed plenty of useful data, and were armed with a lot of information. As usual, well be working hard tonight in preparation for tomorrows qualifying session, and were confident of being able to make further improvements to our car. In a championship battle as tight as this years, the crucial thing is to concentrate on having an error-free weekend and maintain strong consistency even when faced with challenging circumstances. So that will be our aim for the remainder of this weekend. As ever, its going to be a question of discipline, hard work and good racecraft, and thats what well be aiming to deliver.
Nico Hulkenberg, P1 - 1:22.966, 10th; P2 - 1:21.623, 8th
It was a positive day for us, we worked efficiently through our programme and got plenty of work done. It looks similar to Hockenheim here in terms of our relative pace and hopefully if everything goes well, we will be inside the top ten tomorrow.
Rubens Barrichello, P1 - 1:22.601, 5th; P2 - 1:21.844, 12th
My day went well and we managed to finish plenty of comparative tests which are important for the weekend. We can see already that it is going to be a very close grid and it will require our best efforts to qualify at the head of the group of cars we are running among. All of this makes it a very busy weekend in terms of the effort we need to make.
Patrick Head, Williams director of engineering
Today was a normal Friday for us. Both tyres look stable, but it looks as if the softer tyre is reasonably faster than the prime. As Nico says, our work in P3 will be aimed at achieving top ten qualifying positions tomorrow afternoon.
Michael Schumacher, P1 - 1:22.792, 9th; P2 - 1:21.773, 10th
"Today we saw two sessions where neither the long runs nor the single laps were looking particularly good. We are not up to the speed that we normally are on Fridays and unfortunately our car does not look very good here at the moment. We have to look deeply into the data now to see if there are any specific reasons or if it is due to the character of the circuit. I think our specification is better than we had at Silverstone but we have to make it suit this track. We obviously hope for a better performance tomorrow and Sunday."
Nico Rosberg, P1 - 1:22.777, 8th; P2 - 1:22.039, 13th
"It was an interesting day and even though we have taken a small step back with our upgrades, the car seems to work as it should. The track was unexpectedly fast so we had to do some different things with the set-up just to get a feel for it. My lap time wasn't particularly representative as I didn't set a time because of the traffic so I think we look to be in our general position behind the frontrunners at the moment."
Ross Brawn, Mercedes GP team principal
"We had a busy day working with our revised aero package to find the right direction for qualifying and particularly the race. Both drivers completed some good set-up work but Nico and particularly Michael are not completely happy with our position at the end of today. We have a fairly clear picture of where we expect the prime and option tyres to be positioned for qualifying and the race but we have a lot of work ahead this evening to improve the cars for tomorrow."
Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"Not a perfect first day of practice for us and there is certainly still work to be done tonight in order to improve the set-up of our cars. If the forecast is correct for tomorrow, there is a chance of thunderstorms around lunchtime which could possibly create an exiting qualifying session."
Pedro de la Rosa, P1 - 1:22.764, 6th; P2 - 1:21.809, 11th
"For me it was a positive and productive day. My car is pretty good on this low speed circuit, which means all the improvements the team introduced during the recent races are also paying off on this type of track. I think we are looking strong here and there is more to come: For the time being my car tends to understeer, the front is a bit lazy, but I'm sure this can be solved by changing the set-up."
Kamui Kobayashi, P1 - 1:23.327, 14th; P2 - 1:22.212, 14th
"We have done a lot of set-up work today and my car is getting better, but I am not happy yet. The track is quite bumpy and I have to fight understeer as well as oversteer. But my main problem is a lack of grip. I don't really know yet where this comes from, but the data will tell us and we are now going to look at it."
James Key, BMW Sauber technical director
"It's been a very busy day. In the morning we tested some aerodynamic parts on both cars, which provided us with very useful data in view of future developments. The morning was okay for both drivers as the cars ran fine. The second session was more of a standard programme, looking at the set-up of the cars and the tyres. The biggest problems today were consistency and traffic. The grip levels were quite tricky and made it difficult to put together a good lap, particularly on the harder tyre, but also with the soft compound it was not easy to produce consistent lap times. That's definitely something we have to look into this evening. We've got work to do tonight, and I don't think it's straight forward, but Pedro being 11th on a compromised lap wasn't so bad. For Kamui we need to work on the rear end of his car to make it more stable. I think it's still open as to what will happen tomorrow."
Jaime Alguersuari, P1 - 1:23.868, 17th; P2 - 1:22.469, 15th
It was a useful day, as we tested many elements and got a lot of information to analyse. Because we were evaluating some new components today, I expect us to make more progress tomorrow morning in terms of improving the set-up and balance of the car. I did a good long run, which is useful in terms of Sundays race. As far as our pace is concerned, at this stage I would say the upgrades we have are an improvement and I hope that translates into a better qualifying performance than usual. Traction and braking seems quite good and the main difficulty I am having is mid-corner as the softer tyres had some graining on the fronts during my long run. We need to think about that in terms of what it means for the race.
Sebastien Buemi, P1 - 1:23.780, 16th; P2 - 1:22.602, 17th
We had a busy programme, evaluating various parts on the car and in the second session, I reverted to some of the older components while Jaime stayed on the new one, to get a clearer picture. Now we have to study the data carefully, because at the moment, it is hard to tell what improvement the new parts bring. We had no technical issues, so we ran trouble free in both sessions, which means we have a clear understanding of the tyres. As usual here on the first day, the problem is that you do not get much grip from the tyres because the track surface is dirty, so at first we struggled a bit, although this afternoon on the Option tyre, the grip level clearly improved. But we still need to work on improving the rear end grip for tomorrow.
Laurent Mekies, Toro Rosso chief engineer
We had a few new aero components to evaluate, some of which we had tested before and others that went straight on the car today. Its good that we got a full day of dry weather, given that there were a few showers in the surrounding area, as it helped our aero evaluation work. Apart from that it was the usual Friday work list: we evaluated the two types of tyre and they both performed very consistently. The rest of the time was spent on set-up work, with the usual trade off of very long runs, which we did with Jaime and single lap performance.
Adrian Sutil, P1 - 1:23.003, 11th; P2 - 1:22.507, 16th
Today my main goal was to get as much running as possible with the new blown diffuser. We made very good progress in this regard and didn't have any real problems with it, which is a major achievement given how big a component it is to introduce. It seemed to work quite well with the various mappings, and also the temperatures look under control so we can be quite confident in it. But in general we didn't get the best out of the car today. We are struggling a little on the softer tyre and neither Tonio nor myself could improve from the hard tyre. There doesn't seem to be a peak with it, unlike the hard tyre that you know will peak and come in, but it's much more difficult to understand where we are with the soft one. We'll continue to look at it and hope that we can improve tomorrow.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, P1 - n/a; P2 - 1:23.138, 18th
As always in Hungary the circuit was quite low grip in the second session, although it looked pretty clean. It was very slippery in places but it should improve for tomorrow as more rubber gets laid down. For now the balance is quite good, particularly on the hard tyre, but we need to understand why we didn't improve on the soft compound. It's going to be a tough weekend for us, but we've done some productive running today and will look at everything overnight to try and find some more time tomorrow.
Paul di Resta, P1 - 1:23.520, 15th; P2 - n/a
Today was my first outing at the Hungaroring so I necessarily spent a fair bit of time learning the track. It's quite a complicated one to get to grips with and get into a good rhythm, with a lot of corners that flow into each other with no real rest. The average speed is quite slow as well so you're not getting the full effect of the cars as you would at a track like Silverstone. All the same, I really enjoyed being out there. The track was low grip to start with but the grip level slowly improved and we were able to run through all the programme. I wasn't running the blown diffuser so it is difficult to compare directly how I did relative to Adrian, but I am pretty happy with how it went today.
Dominic Harlow, Force India chief race engineer
An interesting day here in Hungary as we learned a great deal about our exhaust blown diffuser with Adrian whilst Tonio concentrated on the tyre evaluations. Initial indications are positive. The circuit was in quite good shape at the start of the day and, as the temperatures increased the grip became a bit harder to find. We can improve the balance a bit more for tomorrow, and things are very tight in our area of the field so it's really a question of examining the data and going forward from there.
Jarno Trulli, P1 - 1:25.032, 19th; P2 - 1:24.553, 19th
It was a good, trouble free Friday session, so Im very happy with how it went. We did a lot of work on the setup so generally the car balance hasnt been too bad. Obviously its a bumpy circuit which evolves all the time, so its important to follow up the evolution. Weve also been able to evaluate the tyres, which is important for both qualifying tomorrow and for the race on Sunday.
Heikki Kovalainen, P1 -1:25.210, 20th; P2 - 1:27.705, 24th
The track is good and theres a great atmosphere out there. This morning we were able to complete the programme without any problems, but when I went out this afternoon we almost immediately had a mechanical issue that unfortunately the boys couldnt fix, so we lost the afternoon session. Thats the way it goes sometimes, but Im sure that well be ok tomorrow. Its still too early to say how well suited the car is to the track, Id have obviously had a better idea if Id been able to run this afternoon, but this morning was pretty encouraging, and its really not too bad at all when we look at our direct competitors.
Jody Egginton, Lotus chief engineer
Mixed fortunes today - with Jarno we completed todays tasks and put a lot of mileage on the option tyre, so weve got a lot of good data from that. Heikki was very unlucky to have a car problem which prevented him from putting in any decent time this afternoon - we tried to resolve it but the time beat us. Despite that we got a lot of valuable information from them both this morning, and more from Jarno this afternoon, so I think well be in pretty good shape tomorrow.
Mike Gascoyne, Lotus chief technical officer
A reasonable day although we had a hydraulic issue on Heikkis car which unfortunately limited his running in the second session. With Jarno we were able to complete the full programme, and the cars look like they are where we expect them to be and we have to make sure we have a reliable Saturday and Sunday.
Timo Glock, P1 - 1:25.990, 21st; P2 - 1:25.376, 20th
A normal Friday for us without any problems with the car, so it has been quite an easy day for us. We did a lot of set-up work, In terms of our speed we are not where we want to be just yet, but we have a good baseline with which to start the weekend.
Lucas di Grassi, P1 - 1:26.686, 22nd; P2 - 1:25.669, 21st
We have had a good Friday without any reliability problems so the weekend has started smoothly. We did all the work we needed to do and I am looking forward to improving the car even more tomorrow and continuing the progress. I hope the weather stays stable so we can have a good qualifying session.
Nick Wirth, Virgin technical director
A smooth day of information gathering for us. Both cars ran reliably, as we hoped, and we ran through a range of set-ups which were deep into analysing at the moment. Were certainly not there yet on the set-up and both drivers had their best laps compromised heavily, so lets hope we make our usual solid set-up progress overnight and have a smooth Saturday.
Bruno Senna, P1 - 1:26.990, 23rd; P2 - 1:26.745, 22nd
In the first session, the track was very green and the grip level was quite low. We tried some aero settings in preparation for the qualifying and the race. We could fulfil our testing programme and, as we completed almost a whole race distance, you can see that the car is reliable.
Sakon Yamamoto, P1 - 1:28.157, 24th; P2 - 1:26.798, 23rd
We had some problems on the car this morning, so we couldnt go through the whole program. In the second practice session, we could fulfil the programme and we got a lot of good data. We keep on working hard and getting ready for tomorrow.
Colin Kolles, HRT team principal
At the beginning of the first practice session, the grip level was expectably low. With one car, we did almost half a race distance this morning. Sakon did a very good job today and he was close to Bruno. We will be more competitive in qualifying and the race.
Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone director of motorsport tyre development
"Once again we have seen very fast times from competitors, with the lap times faster than this time last year. The track surface started quite dirty, however not as dirty as we have seen in previous visits. Because of the dirty surface we saw front and rear graining, but no abrasion on the tread surface which we would sometimes see here. By the afternoon, the surface had improved greatly, and there was very little graining shown. Some competitors experienced a change in car balance when moving from the medium to the super soft tyre, so they still have work to do in refining their set-ups tomorrow. A lot will depend on the temperatures we saw here, as we have seen very high ambient and track temperatures in the past. If it is very hot, we expect less durability from the super soft tyre. If the track continues to improve as it has, and it does not get very hot, then we can expect very little in terms of degradation from the super soft. If this is the case, then this tyre will not only be the favoured tyre for qualifying, but also the better one for the race too. The medium provides good performance, however it is not as fast as the super soft. If this trend continues, a good strategy would be to minimise the use of the medium tyre in the race, so we could see different strategies relating to stint length than we have recently."