Mercedes and Red Bull surprised by gap in Hungary

Mercedes chases down Red Bull in Hungary

Mercedes chase down Red Bull in Hungary

Mercedes comfortably outpaced all rivals on a blistering hot first day of practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix, which took some by surprise.

Speaking to journalists at Hungaroring at the end of the day, Daniel Ricciardo said, “I think realistically Mercedes were quick again, unfortunately a lot quicker than we had hoped. Ferrari at this stage [are] probably the closest of the rivals.”

“It was challenging, I don’t think we found too many positives today. I think we’ll find some tonight as Seb had a better day. We struggled a bit, just tried to find the pace but it just wasn’t there. We went around in circles but didn’t find too much,” added the Red Bull driver. “We should be targeting the second row I think, so let’s see where we are after that.”

Nico Rosberg, who finished the day second to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton said, “It seems that we are quick today, which is surprising because I thought the engine wouldn’t count for much on this track.”

Lewis Hamilton fastest on day one in Hungary

Lewis Hamilton fastest on day one in Hungary

“I thought the others would be much closer, especially Red Bull. It seems like we’re quick and that’s great to see,” he added.

Many believed that the Mercedes W05 would suffer a performance dip without the FRIC suspension system, but Rosberg reported otherwise, “If anything it has given us an advantage, which is awesome to see for now.”

Sebastian Vettel echoed his teammate’s sentiments with regards to the pace deficit at the sharp end of proceedings, “Mercedes [are] far ahead, but the ambition is to catch them. That might be difficult in one or a couple of races, but we hope by the end of the season we see a clear trend.”

Hamilton was fastest at the Hungaroring in both Friday sessions, ending the day 0.238 of a second up on teammate Rosberg and 0.629 of a second up on Vettel. (GP247)