Sebastian Vettel felt his Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team had a relatively good day at the Hungaroring on Friday, although he admits the AMR22 car is still quite difficult to drive.
The German, who earlier this week announced he would be retiring from the FIA Formula 1 World Championship at the end of the season, was eleventh quickest in the first session in Hungary before improving to seventh in the second, but it was far from a straightforward day for him.
Aston Martin have brought an updated rear wing to the Hungaroring this weekend on top of the upgrades they’ve brought to the car in recent races, and Vettel hopes to ensure he has a strong weekend on what will be his final Hungarian Grand Prix.
“On the face of it, our pace today looked quite good – our long runs were quite competitive, and I think we did a solid job as a team, but the car is still quite difficult to drive,” said Vettel.
“We have recently struggled to qualify in dry conditions so I am optimistic that tomorrow’s expected heavy rain will provide us with an opportunity.
“I love driving this circuit and I really hope that the weather does not stop us putting on a show for the fans tomorrow.”
“We look to be right in the mix in the midfield” – Lance Stroll
Team-mate Lance Stroll remains positive heading into the rest of the weekend despite not being able to match the pace of Vettel.
The Canadian ended twelfth in the first session and fourteenth in the second, although he was less than half a second down on seventh-placed Vettel in afternoon’s running.
Stroll says it is pleasing to see Aston Martin continuing to bring updates to the car this season, and he is hoping he can help the team move forward on Saturday, particularly if the predicted wet weather arrives at the Hungaroring.
“It is positive that we are still bringing updates to the car – we will look at the data tonight to see what impact they are having,” said Stroll. “Today was a good day – in the dry, we look to be right in the mix in the midfield.
“But it is very close there, with only a couple of tenths separating much of the pack. The forecast for the rest of the weekend is uncertain so it is difficult to predict where anyone will be in qualifying tomorrow or in Sunday’s race.”