Webber rapid ahead of hydraulic issue
Brawn Mercedes has yet to either show their hand or doesn’t have much of one to show. McLaren Mercedes has either shown their hand and it’s misleading or they really do have some serious pace in the MP4-24 around the Hungaroring, while
Red Bull Renault simply look very good again once again in the hands of Renault.
As usual, reading too much into Friday practice times is a dangerous game but after two 90-minute practice sessions for the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend many are feeling pretty confident ahead of the summer break, while others are less than thrilled with their early pace. One man happy, no matter what, is Jaime Alguersuari who made his debut today with Toro Rosso Ferrari.
Here’s what they had to say.
1 . L. Hamilton - McLaren Mercedes MP4-24
We’ve refined the improvements we had at the Nurburgring and they seem to be working, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do to beat the Red Bulls particularly. Nevertheless, it’s encouraging to be able to push the car – I’m happier with it than I’ve been all season. The front row would be beautiful but, to be honest, I’m just aiming to get into Q3. The car is much more competitive – we’ve come from 2.5s off but we’re still about four to five tenths off the leaders, so we’ve got to keep working to make that up before we can start thinking about winning.”
2 . H. Kovalainen - McLaren Mercedes MP4-24
“I’ve got the full upgrade package that Lewis raced at the Nurburgring and the car now feels much better to drive. We’ve got a new floor, new front wing, updated bodywork and some small changes to the suspension. It’s a big package. The grip level is so much higher now. Stability under braking is much better, and the guys have done a fantastic job to improve the balance at the rear. I still think we need to look at the data and analyse the strength of the opposition. Of course, it would be fantastic to carry this over into qualifying and the race, but we need to be realistic: I’m sure tomorrow morning will give us a much clearer idea of the position of the Brawns and the Red Bulls. But after today’s performance, I’ll definitely be going for it.”
3 . N. Rosberg - Williams Toyota FW31
"We have made some good progress today in the sessions, but I don’t yet feel completely happy in the car and I think we can find some more improvement tomorrow. The tyres will be quite interesting to work out as although they are quite close together, the option at the end of a run is obviously a bit slower than the prime. We will have to analyse carefully which way we go in the race and I think that the answer might not be too obvious. We also spent some time testing the new aero parts we have here."
4 . M. Webber - Red Bull Renault RB5
“We’ve had a good day so far. It’s normal for Budapest to be pretty warm, so we’ve experienced the normal characteristics and the problems that Budapest throws at the engineers and drivers. The car seems to be going okay at the moment – we’ll see what fuel loads people are running as usual tomorrow and on Sunday. We’ve got a bit of work to do with our car but, in general, it’s been a reasonably positive day, with the exception of stopping towards the end of the second session with a hydraulic problem.”
5 . K. Nakajima - Williams Toyota FW31
"It was a good session today. We recorded some good long runs and although our short runs were not quite as good, if we can fix this by working with the data, we will be looking good for tomorrow."
6 . S. Vettel - Red Bull Renault RB5
“A hot, hot Friday, obviously the sun is out in Hungary, which makes it hot in the car, but it’s okay. Overall I think we are still struggling to find the balance – I’m not yet 100% happy, so we need to look into it carefully overnight to see where we are. Hopefully we can make a step forward tomorrow and then it will be all about qualifying as usual. I think it’s much closer here than at previous races, other teams are very competitive, so we will see!”
7 . R. Barrichello - Brawn Mercedes BGP 001
"Our programme today was to work with the two tyre compounds to fully understand their working range and the impact on the set-up and balance of the car. Most of my day was focused on evaluating the prime tyre which proved not have a great deal of grip so it was important to establish some set-up assumptions. We then tried the option tyre later this afternoon which seemed to be quicker. Overall I'm pretty happy with our progress today."
8 . J. Trulli - Toyota TF109
"It was a difficult day for me and I had a bit of trouble. It was disappointing we couldn't do all the work we had planned in second practice due to the problem but the team did a great job to get the car ready again so quickly. It's not easy to say where we are in terms of competitiveness or set-up because it didn't run as smoothly as normal. The track conditions evolved quite a lot during the day, as expected, and by the end of the second session there was a lot more grip than in the morning. Now it is important to make the best possible use of tomorrow's practice session so we are well prepared for qualifying."
9 . N. Heidfeld - BMW Sauber F1.09
"We are making progress, although I’m not satisfied with the balance of the car yet. It is not just as I want it would be – neither on a single lap nor on a long run. You can feel the tyre compounds are now more similar to each other than they used to be, but I’m afraid the tyres are still not really good. Despite the traffic on the track, I was lucky this time and had quite a few clear laps."
10 . T. Glock - Toyota TF109
"Today was quite positive for me and overall I am definitely happier than at this stage of the weekend at the Nurburgring. The car felt quite good, especially later in second practice when the track had rubbered in more. There wasn't a lot of grip this morning or for the first few laps of the afternoon session so it was a little tricky but it improved after that. So I am happy with how things have gone for me, but of course we still have work to do to improve the set-up even more.
We have taken a step in the right direction and I hope for a strong qualifying tomorrow."
11 . K. Raikkonen - Ferrari F60
“Today, the car wasn’t that bad. There are still some small things that we can work on to make it quicker, but overall, I am reasonably happy. This year, the supersoft tyre has always been very difficult to manage, but here it seems the situation is rather more straightforward. We’ll see what we can manage tomorrow, but this is definitely a better Friday than those in the recent past. Seeing how close the times are, we will have to try and do the maximum to get a good grid position. It seems to me that the performance level of the various cars at this track is much closer one to the other.”
12 . F. Alonso - Renault R29
“It was a fairly normal day of practice, although it wasn’t easy to cope with the constantly evolving track. The morning was all about getting used to the car again and in the afternoon we concentrated on understanding the two different tyres, which gave us some useful information for the race. We managed to complete our programme and I think we can be happy with the job we have done today. For tomorrow morning we need to get ready for qualifying as grid position will be very important for the race.”
13 . J. Button - Brawn Mercedes BGP 001
"It's been a much better Friday for us than at the last couple of races. Obviously the temperatures are higher here which works in our favour and we have some good aerodynamic updates to the car for this race. We achieved a lot of important work today with the tyres and whilst we have some way to go to get them working at their optimum, it's a good start to the weekend."
14 . R. Kubica - BMW Sauber F1.09
"Today it was very hot. The car in the morning session felt good straightaway. In the first run especially I was quite happy. When there was more rubber on the track we tested some new parts and a modified front wing. In the afternoon I was not too happy with the car. We now have to compare the data from the two sessions and find the right balance."
15 . N. Piquet - Renault R29
"It wasn’t an easy day because I had to learn about the new parts that I have on my car this weekend, as well as working on the set-up. As Fernando already had these updates in Germany, I’ve been able to get some set-up feedback from his data. Generally the Hungaroring is a circuit where it’s quite difficult to find the right set-up, especially as the track is so dirty and bumpy. So far we have lots of data that we will look over this evening to prepare for tomorrow. It’s difficult to say if it’s possible to qualify in the top ten, but we’re doing everything we can to have a quick car for tomorrow.”
16 . A. Sutil - Force India Mercedes VJM02
"Today was quite a tough day. The grip level was so low on the circuit and it was hard to judge the tyres. The balance in general is hard to get and the car is difficult to drive. We're getting some oversteer and then understeer in the mid corner with a lot of snaps over the bumps. It is made harder as the grip levels are changing constantly, but we've got lots of data to work on so I'm confident we'll find some more tomorrow."
17 . G. Fisichella - Force India Mercedes VJM02
"Everything went reasonably well today as we went through the programme. The balance for me was not too bad, particularly on the longer run I did in the afternoon, but the circuit is still quite low on grip. Unfortunately on my last run with the new tyres I had some traffic on the first lap so couldn't warm the tyres adequately and I locked up into turn one and got a flat spot and some vibration. I couldn't improve my lap time with the new tyres in the end, but we do know that there is more to come."
18 . F. Massa - Ferrari F60
“I’m not happy with how things went today. I struggled a lot just to get the balance on the car to an acceptable level and found the tyres offered little grip, especially the harder ones, to such an extent I wasn’t able to do a real long run on either types of tyre. On top of that, in the final part of the second session I had a problem with the rear suspension after going off the track, which cost me valuable time. Here, the conditions change a lot from one day to the next and I really hope that will be the case again this time.”
19 . S. Buemi - Toro Rosso Ferrari STR4
“We have the new package on the car here, but it’s not a magic trick, where you put something on the car and go a lot faster immediately. At the moment, we are trying to understand what it does in terms of car balance. It is definitely better and now our task is to get the most out of it. In between sessions there is not enough time to go in depth into the data, so this evening we will get a better picture. Generally, it has been a positive day and I think we can have a degree of confidence for qualifying. Having a new team-mate does not affect me that much as I drive my car on my own! The team seems happy and he produced a good performance.”
20 . J. Alguersuari - Toro Rosso Ferrari STR4
“I am quite happy with how today has gone, especially this morning, when I had a good pace and felt quite confident. In the second session, my lap time could have been better, but I didn’t get a clean lap on the option tyre. I am learning all the time. The hardest part was the entry into the high speed corners, which I need to take much faster, but that will come as my confidence grows and I do more kilometres. Every time I went out from the garage, I was learning and felt more comfortable with the situation.”