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Friday analysis - competition hotting up in Budapest

24 Jul 2015

Perfect weather enabled everyone to get their tyre comparisons and development test programmes done, but the 53 degree Celsius track temperature high caused plenty of problems with tyre management. The general feeling was that the difference between the medium and soft Pirellis was about 1.8s. Force India had a tough time, however, with Perez crashing in the morning and neither VJM08 venturing out in the afternoon as a result. We take a team-by-team look at day one at the Hungaroring…

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, 1m 25.141s, P1/1m 23.949s, P1
Nico Rosberg, 1m 25.250s, P2/1m 24.668s, P4

Hamilton was so happy that he said he was beginning to feel that the Hungaroring was his favourite track. Rosberg, however, was far less satisfied with his F1 W06 Hybrid and succeeded only in turning oversteer into understeer as he struggled to hone the balance. He’s the one with the most work to do overnight.

Red Bull

Daniil Kvyat, 1m 26.070s, P5/1m 24.300s, P2
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 26.053s, P4/1m 24.451s, P3

Both drivers felt happier with the balance and performance of their RB11s on a track where power is less crucial, but Ricciardo’s day was hampered by an engine failure in FP2.

Ferrari

Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 25.812s, P3/1m 25.134s, P5
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 26.395ss, P6/1m 25.660s, P7

Raikkonen had an adventurous day with his front wing breaking and puncturing the left front tyre after he ran innocently over the kerb in Turn 12, which is completely unchanged since 2014. Then he struggled in the afternoon. Vettel lost time with an electrical short in the morning, then uncharacteristically spun twice, in Turn 12 and Turn 1, in the afternoon. There’s plenty of work to get done here before FP3.

Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz, 1m 26.727s, P7/1m 25.599s, P6
Max Verstappen, 1m 26.934s, P10/1m 25.935s, P11

Sainz dialled out oversteer as the day progressed and said he was satisfied with his foundation for tomorrow. Verstappen was happy with the way things went in the morning, but less so with an electrical problems which compromised his afternoon.

Williams

Valtteri Bottas, 1m 26.825s, P9/1m 25.881s, P9
Felipe Massa, 1m 27.381s, P14/1m 25.920s, P10

Williams were pretty happy after back-to-backing a new front wing which helped to alleviate some of the problems the FW35 suffered in Monaco. They think they have a good chance now of qualifying well tomorrow.

McLaren

Fernando Alonso, 1m 27.272s, P11/1m 25.752s, P8
Jenson Button, 1m 27.308s, P12/1m 25.994s, P12

McLaren had a much-needed upbeat day, and both cars appeared to be going a lot better with full use of their Honda ERS systems for the first time. Alonso gave them a further boost by setting the eighth-fastest time in FP2; Button, only two-tenths slower, was four places further back, such was the tightness of the midfield.

Lotus

Pastor Maldonado, 1m 28.568s, P17/1m 26.090s, P13
Romain Grosjean (pm only), 1m 26.442s, P15
Jolyon Palmer (am only) No time, P20

It was an unhappy day here, with costly delays in the first session which hampered Maldonado. Neither the Venezuelan nor Grosjean who had a spin and an off-track moment, really got going. Palmer lost his FP1 run because of a telemetry-related problem.

Sauber

Felipe Nasr, 1m 27.409s, P15/1m 26.379s, P14
Marcus Ericsson, 1m 27.732s, P16/1m 26.831s, P16

Like everyone else, Sauer struggled with tyre management, but Ericsson also had an issue with his brake-by-wire and then with traffic during his run on the soft tyre. Nasr thought he was heading in the right direction, as he was happy with his C34’s balance.

Marussia

Will Stevens, 1m 29.693s, P18/1m 29.115s, P18
Roberto Merhi (pm only), 1m 29.113s, P17
Fabio Leimer (am only), 1m 30.631s, P19

None of the drivers had any major problems, though Merhi said he made a couple of mistakes on his qualifying simulation. Leimer did a decent job in FP1 on his first run at a Grand Prix.

Force India

Sergio Perez, 1m 26.776s, P8/No time
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 27.317s, P13/No time

Perez was looking good early on in FP1, in eighth, when he crashed his car exiting Turn 11 and rolled it after a right rear suspension failure which may have been caused by running wide over the saw-tooth kerbs. The VJM08 needed a lot of work, but in any case both cars were withdrawn on safety grounds from FP2 while an investigation into the cause of the suspension breakage was determined.
 

Watch Hamilton's fastest lap of the day in Hungary...
 

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