McLaren team and drivers report from the first practice day of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, at Hungaroring near Budapest.
Jenson Button – MP4-28A-03: “The two sessions were quite a contrast for us because of the difference in temperature from the morning to the afternoon – but it’s been a reasonable day in terms of the set-up work we’ve done. I think we’ve improved our understanding of how the car works. We actually managed to get quite a few things tested, and our car feels okay around here. There’s very little degradation on the Option tyre, it’s more front- than rear-limited, so the tyres are working well, which is another positive. I’m hoping we’ve taken a step forward, but there’s still room for improvement.”
Sergio Perez – MP4-28A-01: “The car felt pretty good this morning, and our times were competitive, but the track temperature changed in the afternoon, so I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the balance of the car in the end. Now, we’ve got time to go away and analyse why the balance felt so different between the two sessions. We’ve got a lot of information to sift through, and I think we have the potential to do better tomorrow. Our aim for this weekend will be to score points and to have another decent weekend as we did in Germany.”
Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: “The Hungarian Grand Prix has traditionally been a long and difficult race – and this year’s edition looks set to be no exception. The searing and unrelenting temperatures of the Hungaroring will make life difficult for everyone this weekend – indeed, after a reasonably positive morning, we found that the afternoon’s higher temperatures affected the balance of MP4-28. Nonetheless, although we’re far from satisfied with our current form, we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to take a small step forward in performance here. The engineers now face the unenviable task of trawling through a considerable amount of technical data in order to refine and improve the cars ahead of tomorrow’s sessions. As ever, I’m confident that they’ll be able to find the improvements necessary to ensure [that] we maintain the positive momentum of the morning.” (McLaren)
Subbed by AJN.