Formula 1

Gasly & Verstappen expecting “unpredictable, interesting qualifying” after topping practice

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Credit: Red Bull Content Pool/Charles Coates/Getty Images

Red Bull Racing drivers Pierre Gasly and Max Verstappen remain cautiously optimistic about their 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix prospects after the former topped Friday’s second practice session.

With intermittent rain obscuring the overall picture, Gasly’s lap time of 1:17.854, set before rain hit the Hungaroring, was quick enough to top the session.

The Frenchman, who finished fourth in free practice one, isn’t getting carried away with his P1 slot on the timesheets however, being all too aware that the mixed conditions have masked the true performance of each driver in the field.

“We have a strong car and the package seems to be working well in both the dry and the wet, but we can’t take many conclusions from today with the mixed conditions,” said Gasly after topping the day’s second session.

“I was happy with the car in both sessions, even if we didn’t do many laps, but it’s too early to see where we stand. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the weather tomorrow but it could be really unpredictable like today with more tricky conditions.

“I think as expected Mercedes are really fast and we probably didn’t see Ferrari’s true pace so we’ll find out tomorrow what we can fight for, but the battle with Ferrari will be pretty tight.”

Gasly’s team-mate Verstappen continued his good form coming into Hungary by ranking second in both of Friday’s practice sessions. Despite a spin at the final turn during the first session the Dutchman went on to set a lap-time of 1:17.398, just 0.165-seconds adrift of Lewis Hamilton‘s time-sheet topping 1:17.233.

With lap-times close between Red Bull and Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Verstappen remains positive heading into what he believes will be an “interesting qualifying.”

“I think it was a good day for us and although Mercedes seem to be a little bit ahead we’re very close which is positive,” said Verstappen. “We learnt a lot this morning during the dry running and the car was competitive straight away.

“We were then able to make lots of changes, some worked and some didn’t, but that is what practice sessions are for and you have to see if you can improve the balance before deciding on one direction.

“The car seemed to work well in both wet and dry conditions, which is very positive.

“Tomorrow is a new day but it all looks pretty close so it should be an interesting qualifying.”

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