Valtteri Bottas soared to the top of the timing sheets on the opening day of the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Finnish driver ended the day top of the field in scorching conditions. Team-mate Lewis Hamilton ended the day second at the Hungaroring.
It was an opening day that Bottas would’ve dreamt of, the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver showed brilliant pace throughout the day, as the track temperature broke the sixty degrees celsius mark.
Bottas is extremely happy with the great start to the weekend as he continues to race for his Mercedes future, he will be pushing for pole position on Saturday.
“It felt like being in a Finnish sauna today, especially when you stop mid-runs – it’s way more than 60 degrees in the cockpit! It makes it tricky with the tyres overheating but honestly, it didn’t feel too bad – a promising start. Recently we’ve been making improvements and I don’t think we’re in too bad a place but it’s only Practice, you never know what teams are holding back.
“In FP1 we had work to do with the balance but we made changes quickly and were in better shape for FP2, and no doubt there’s still more to come. We’ll be in on the fight for pole tomorrow and that’s hugely motivating.”
“You can’t plan for the rain” – Lewis Hamilton
World champion Lewis Hamilton was hot on his team-mates heels, ending the day only +0.027 behind him but importantly nearly three tenths ahead of championship leader Max Verstappen.
Mercedes do appear to have turned a corner since Austria and are beginning to show signs of their dominant pace that we have all become accustomed too. There may be a spanner in the works come Saturday though, with heavy rain forecast across the weekend.
Hamilton is confident that improvements can be made to the car and that he will be ready to fight no matter the weather.
“It was roasting today, I’ve probably lost 3kg out there and the tyres were melting! To see Valtteri and I at the top of the timesheets this afternoon is pleasing, it’s great for the team and we’ll only improve on that. We have some work to do tonight to see how we can finesse the car some more.
“You can’t plan for the rain, it’s so unpredictable so you just try and get the car in the best place, understand the tyres, and set the car up for a dry Qualifying and if it rains, it rains. I’m optimistic because I definitely think we can improve the car balance-wise and if we can do that, we should be there ready to fight tomorrow and for the race on Sunday.”