Fri: Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari

Date published: July 22 2016

Nico Rosberg set the pace in Friday’s practice for the Hungarian GP ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel after Lewis Hamilton crashed early in FP2…

Mercedes:
Nico Rosberg:
“An impressive day for us, performance-wise. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be in quite such a strong position tomorrow – but for now it’s very positive. I’m feeling great out there and the car is very quick, so a good start to the weekend overall. We got everything done in terms of qualifying and race sim work and it’s all looking very good. I think the new asphalt suits us, so I’m optimistic. It’s a great feeling to start the day like that with the contract being sorted. That was always going to be a positive boost. Now I’m really excited for the rest of the weekend in my awesome Silver Arrow.”

Lewis Hamilton: “Obviously, not the greatest session for me. My apologies to the crew for all the hard work they have ahead to strip the car and get it back together. Fortunately, I got a good feel for it in the few laps that I did have and the pace is clearly there, so hopefully tomorrow I can make up for the time lost today during the morning session and come back strongly in Qualifying.”

Red Bull:
Daniel Ricciardo:
“We’re looking pretty good, we’d like to be a bit closer to Mercedes but at the moment we’re sitting sort-of second best, a bit quicker than Ferrari today, so we are more or less where we expected to be. We knew it would be close with Ferrari, so if we can keep our nose in front that would be nice. I think we’re in a pretty good position for a Friday. The new track surface isn’t massively different, it’s a bit smoother but the nature of the track is still the same. I was a little bit worried it would lose some of its character, but I think it’s still much the same. As more cars drive on the track during the weekend, it should come up and get quicker and quicker. We have to target top three; the last two years we have had podiums here, so three years in a row would be nice.”

Max Verstappen: “We started quite easily in FP1 today and worked through our programme. FP2 was much better; we were a lot closer to the pace of the Mercedes and the long runs were looking good so I’m happy about that. I made a little mistake in the last sector on my fast lap but these things happen, hopefully just today and not tomorrow. I want to improve the car a bit for the race, Ferrari are not too far away so we shall see what happens tomorrow in qualifying.  The weather on Sunday could be warmer which usually means more issues with the tyres but it’s the same for everyone so let’s wait and see. For me the kerbs are quite ok here, if you have an oversteer moment then you can go wide but otherwise it’s ok to stay within the limits of the track.”

Ferrari:
Sebastian Vettel:
“Today I think we lost a bit of time in the beginning. Obviously with the red flag it was not ideal, we had to come in a couple of times, re-programme the car and go out again. The good news is that we were able to fix it, but I lost a bit of the rhythm. After this the car felt fine, but I think we can improve the setup for tomorrow, and then we should have a better balance in the car. We need to be better in sector 1, 2, 3, I don’t think that there is one sector that stands out. I am not entirely happy with the balance yet, so naturally if everything comes more together I think we can improve overnight and so we will be better in all three sectors. Today is Friday, and I don’t value Friday that much. We look at ourselves, here and there we need to improve, and then go from there. Tomorrow is a new day.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “Overall it was a pretty ok day, we made the right improvements and I’m sure we can still make progress and go faster. I think we are going in the right direction. The conditions of the track are much better, they have done a really good job with the tarmac, it’s much smoother and also the kerbs are better than they used to be. I haven’t seen what the others have done and it’s still Friday, too early to know where we are. We know our rivals are fast, but we can improve, we’ll see what happens.”