Sauber drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez were both optimistic about the team’s chances in Hungary this weekend after Friday’s running in Budapest. The outright lap times didn’t show a great leap forward with Hulkenberg fifteenth, right behind his teammate, but the German believes there is more pace in the C32.
“It has been a good Friday. I think the level of performance is a bit difficult to judge. We still need to work on low fuel pace, especially for qualifying. My run on the medium tyres also wasn’t the best, so there is room for improvement there. The long run was quite consistent and in terms of pace it also looked reasonable. We have a good baseline and did all the tests we needed to do. The tyres were pretty straightforward. Now we have to keep working, improve small bits and see where we finish tomorrow.”
Gutierrez is expecting the Hungarian heat to give the tyres a thorough working over on Sunday but is confident of a stronger showing than recent Grand Prix weekends.
“Overall it was a productive Friday. We were able to draw some conclusions about the new parts we brought here, and it seems like everything is working as expected. But we still have to wait and see what happens in qualifying. We will certainly be pushing in order to improve. The weather is quite a challenge for the tyres, as we saw this afternoon, but that is something everyone has to cope with. It’s a matter of finding the right balance between how much you can push and how long you want the tyres to last in one stint. The behaviour of the tyres is different. They are a bit more difficult to warm up, but therefore they last longer. Now we have to adapt as quickly as possible. Overall, I’m quite confident we can get a better result than in previous races.”