World Championship leader Sebastian Vettel is predicting a hard fought battle for pole position after and action packed opening day of practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, and also concedes that his Ferrari team need to make a step forward by Saturday afternoon.
Vettel was second fastest in both sessions on Friday and told reporters, “It looks very close between Red Bull, Mercedes and ourselves. It’s always difficult what to expect here.”
“Fridays are always a different story but overall I think it should be quite close, it should be good fun and important to get everything straight and right tomorrow.”
His former Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo set the pace all day and in the end the top five drivers were separated by only three tenths of a second, suggesting a tight contest for pole position and in the race too.
“Looking at ourselves which is key – we need to make sure we get the car in the right window, find a better setup for [qualifying] and working on the tyres, working a bit on the driving. We tried some things which gave us mostly direction and we should know what to do, but we need to make a step forward tomorrow.”
It was a day packed with incidents and red flag interruptions as the challenging nature of Hungaroring coupled to a slippery track took its toll.
Vettel explained, “[It was] tricky because of the red flags. This morning I did not get into the rhythm, this afternoon was better with more laps in the car.”
“I think it’s been quite slippery, everyone has been struggling to find the optimum grip, find the ideal lap. As I said this afternoon was a bit better for us. We tried to play around a little bit with the car, with the setup. I think it was mostly driving to be honest,” added Vettel who won the race at the venue near Budapest in 2015.