The Scuderia Ferrari team had one of their better Friday practice sessions of recent races, with both Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso showing some good pace at the Hungaroring ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Alonso confessed to having had to work harder on Friday in Hungary than he usually would have to do to get a good base set-up on his Ferrari. He was happy therefore to be fourth in both free practice sessions, but knows anything can happen during a race weekend.
“Going from one race to the next doesn’t usually involve many changes, but here, unlike what usually happens on a Friday, we had to work a lot on the set-up, to try and adapt the car to the circuit, the tyres and the high temperatures,” said Alonso. “So there was rather more work than usual, but it produced results and we improved run after run. Sure, there’s still a lot to do to be as competitive as we’d like, but I think we’re on the right road.
“There’s less grip here than in previous years, but it’s the same for everyone and now we have to try and prepare the car as well as possible for qualifying and the race. High temperatures like those we saw today are always challenging for the tyres, but the forecast is for cooler conditions from tomorrow and maybe rain on Sunday, so we have to be ready for every eventuality.”
Team-mate Raikkonen was third quickest in the morning session before slipping to sixth in the afternoon, but felt the team had done a good job throughout the day. He is looking to get back into form after struggling this season for good results.
“In the first free practice session, we managed to do a good job, testing various solutions on the programme and I was feeling reasonably pleased with the handling of the car,” said Raikkonen. “Then, in the afternoon, I went out for a second run on the Medium tyres, because the behaviour of this compound seemed worse as the temperature went up and that affected the handling of the car, while on the Soft I had no problems.
“In the second part of the session I did a race simulation with both compounds: unfortunately when I fitted the Mediums I had a problem with the left rear and I had to pit earlier than planned. The telemetry didn’t show any problem on the car, so I hope that the data will point us in the right direction for the next two days.”