Alan Permane, the Sporting Director of the Renault Sport Formula One Team, saw the outfit have mixed results in Qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday, but he admits that the weather conditions made it a difficult afternoon for everyone at the Hungaroring.
Carlos Sainz Jr. secured an excellent fifth position after making the most of the ever-increasingly worse conditions across the three sessions that make up the Qualifying hour, but team-mate Nico Hülkenberg suffered an ill-time bowser problem in the pits that prevented him from being on track when conditions were their best in Q2, meaning he will start thirteenth.
“Sessions like today’s are never easy,” said Permane. “The team and Carlos did a great job in a very challenging Q3 where Carlos drove extremely well for our best qualifying performance to date.
“Unfortunately, there was a problem with the fuel bowser on Nico’s car at the start of Q2 which meant he couldn’t get a lap in when the track was at its driest. He tried with the Wet tyres, but the track was simply too wet to be able to go faster later in the session.”
Permane says the free choice of starting tyre opens up a lot of strategic options for Sunday’s race, particularly as it is expected to be a dry encounter, although he knows a sprinkling of rain could make it a much more eventful afternoon.
“Everyone has a free starting tyre choice so it opens up the options,” he said. “The weather forecast does predict a dry race but there’s still a chance of the heavens opening again so there’s potential for an eventful race.
“We’ll be looking to maximise every opportunity.”