Jonathan Eddolls, the Chief Race Engineer at Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda, says it was a day of two different halves for the drivers, with Pierre Gasly ending inside the top six in both sessions and Yuki Tsunoda ending in the barriers.
Gasly placed fifth in the morning session at the Hungaroring and sixth in the afternoon as he returned to the kind of pace he was able to show in the races prior to the disappointing British Grand Prix weekend two weeks ago.
Eddolls says the updates brought to the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend appear to be working, and he hopes Gasly can maintain his form into Saturday’s Qualifying session.
“It’s a tale of two halves today for the team,” said Eddolls. “Pierre’s side of the garage have had a very good Friday, we hit the ground running in FP1 and he showed a very good performance on all of the tyres and particularly on the short-run, where the car seems to be in a good place.
“For sure, the race will be difficult, especially if we have these very high temperatures as it’s very hard on the tyres, so that is probably an area that we should work on for the rest of the weekend.
“We’ve brought some aero updates to this race and they are performing as expected, which is really positive.”
Eddolls says Tsunoda was having a good opening session in Hungary before he crashed at turn four on his nineteenth lap, with the damage to his AT-02 sufficient for him to sit out all bar the final five minutes of the afternoon session as his mechanics fixed the car.
Tsunoda was able to return to the track to complete three important laps, but Eddolls knows he will need to step up and recover his weekend in Saturday morning’s final practice session if he is to be a contender for the top ten in Qualifying.
“Yuki was having quite a good FP1 up until the spin, which was unfortunate for him,” said Eddolls. “He sustained some damage to the car which was fairly extensive and took quite a long time to repair.
“The mechanics did an excellent job getting the car back out before the end of FP2 and Yuki was able to get one push lap in before the end of the session. He completed this lap on the Softs, however he ended up in the mix of cars doing long-runs, so we can’t consider his time representative of the real performance.
“It was always going to be difficult getting that lap in but thanks to the mechanics’ hard work we were able to check that everything on the car is ok and it will also allow Yuki to analyse the set-up changes we made to the car after FP1.
“The forecasts here have been changing daily, so who knows what weather we’ll have tomorrow!”