Two-from-two from Daniel Ricciardo in Hungarian practice with the top six separated by just half a second on Friday afternoon.
Daniel Ricciardo: “I can’t complain with that day after topping both sessions, it’s nice. We obviously brought some updates here and they seem to be working, I definitely feel like we have found some grip in various areas and taken a step in the right direction. We know this track usually suits us so it was important to come here and extract everything we could out of the car and make sure the updates did their job which in turn can allow us to fight with the guys up front. Being top of the timesheets is always nice but we were able to replicate that pace in the long runs which gives me confidence looking ahead to the rest of the weekend and achieving a solid result in Qualifying tomorrow. Ferrari seemed to find a bit more pace in the afternoon but I still managed to stay ahead so all signs are good. I’m sure the other teams will bring a bit more tomorrow, but I also think we have a bit more to find. If we can put it all together it could be a really positive Qualifying. I have a car I am comfortable with and I’m at a track I enjoy so it will be an exciting weekend, drive fast and put it all together in Q3, that’s the plan.”
Max Verstappen: “From my side in the beginning it was a bit difficult today and I was struggling with the balance. We changed quite a lot of things on the car and by the end of the second practice it was actually feeling quite ok. On the Supersoft tyre it was all coming together but I struggled to get a clean lap because of the red and yellow flags. I went out again when everyone was doing long runs and the sector times were fine so we are up there and it’s looking good. I’m finally feeling good in the car at the end of a practice session so I think we can work from here. In qualifying Mercedes will of course turn up the power so I think we still need to find a bit of pace to really fight them, but it’s all looking a lot better than previous races.”
Sebastian Vettel: “This morning I wasn’t that happy but in the afternoon I started getting the rhythm. So, I think we were not that bad, but it’s difficult to read the session. Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull are very close to each other. It should be good fun tomorrow. We need to find the best settings for tomorrow and work a little bit more on the tires and on the driving. Then it should be better. I had a bit of damage on the car, after running over a kerb, so that we had to go back to the garage, but in the end it was fine. We saw some cars going off track today, especially at the exits to Turns 4 and 11, which are quite tough. I was a bit too aggressive this morning. But everything seems to work, so we should be in a better place tomorrow. Two years ago here the race was not bad – we won – and we had some other good races here. However, you always hope that the best race is yet to come. We have another chance on Sunday and we are looking forward to it.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a normal day’s work. We started pretty well in the morning, while the afternoon was a bit more tricky and less straightforward. When I stopped on the track it was because I had lost the throttle control for a minute, but then it recovered and I could continue. It was not a major thing, sometimes such issues can happen. The conditions were not the easiest and for sure, due to the red flags, we did not get as much running as we would have liked. Nevertheless it was not too bad. Today the lap times were very close, but you can expect that on this kind of track and many things can change from tomorrow on. We have to do our best and hopefully that’s enough to push us to the front; then it will be up to us to drive as fast as we can.”
Valtteri Bottas: “We have some work to do. The three teams at the front seemed very close. I was not quite happy with the balance of the car today and I was especially struggling with the rear end. The temperatures are expected to rise tomorrow, which means that we really need to get the rear end of the car more stable. I think that will be the main area for us to focus on. It should be interesting tomorrow.”
Lewis Hamilton: “It wasn’t the easiest start to the weekend, with the conditions very gusty. We end the day in fifth but there’s clearly good pace in the car. It’s super tight between Ferrari, Red Bull and ourselves at the top of the leaderboard, so it’s looking like it will be an exciting weekend. That should be good for the fans! There’s some more work to do overnight to fine-tune the balance to get the car just where we want it and I believe the pace is in there. We just need to unlock it ahead of qualifying because every tenth is going to be crucial with three teams in the mix.”