Nico Hülkenberg felt it was a ‘decent’ day for him and his Renault F1 Team as he placed inside the top ten in both Friday free practice sessions despite the variable weather conditions at the Hungaroring.
The German finished the morning session seventh fastest before ending eighth in the afternoon, with Hülkenberg feeling the team can have a strong weekend as they look to put their double retirement from last weekend’s German Grand Prix behind them.
“Overall, it’s been a decent day for us,” said Hülkenberg. “It was a little bit different to a normal Friday with the conditions and the rain throughout both sessions.
“We weren’t able to learn the usual things we do during practice and everyone will be a little in the dark tomorrow and the rest of the weekend, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I feel we can be in a good position, the car didn’t feel too bad, especially in the afternoon on our Soft run.”
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was also feeling positive after Friday’s running, and he wants to end the final race weekend before the summer break with a strong result, something he feels is possible this weekend at the Hungaroring.
“It was a pretty good day, even if the weather wasn’t great,” admitted Ricciardo. “We had a positive afternoon with the few laps we managed to complete. We made some progress after a tough morning but there’s a bit more to find tonight.
“I felt more confident in the car in the afternoon, so that’s promising. We’ll see what happens tomorrow, there is a chance of rain again so it could be interesting. It’s the last one before summer too, so let’s get it!”
Nick Chester, the Chassis Technical Director at Renault, said it was important to get as much information from both drivers as they could before the rain struck the circuit, and the single intermediate runs in the afternoon were to judge how the cars reacted with trickier track conditions.
“With these kind of changeable conditions, you have to try to get everything in that you can before the rain hits,” said Chester. “At the start of FP1 neither driver was satisfied with the set-up, but we made some changes and they were much happier.
“In FP2 we really only got two short, dry runs but we confirmed we had gone in the right direction and we were able to make some further improvements. We did some running on Intermediates as it could well rain again tomorrow right on the bell. [At the] end of session they again seemed pretty happy with the car on Inters too.”