Hungaroring Test Day 2: Driver & Team Reports

Drivers and teams report from day two of the Hungaroring Formula 1 test, ahead of the sport’s summer break.

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel: “You don’t get a lot of testing over the season, so it was a good opportunity to try a couple of things and get a feeling from the car. Obviously, in such a brief test you are not expecting to turn the world upside down, but it will be useful for the next races and for a better understanding of the car. I think this year we’ve been strong pretty much everywhere, of course there have been races in which we did not perform at our best; of course there will always differences from track to track, but the purpose of all the work we do is to be in a good shape for the rest of the season. We’ve picked up momentum with the win in Hungary, now it’s up to us to keep it going, but I am confident that we have the right people and are going in the right direction. As for my holidays… I haven’t done much planning, I think I’ll just be getting some rest, after all those flights!”

Kimi Raikkonen: “We always bring something different, irrespective of where we are and try to learn from it. We had a very good result, as a team, here in Hungary, but we always try to improve further. Today was a normal testing day, but obviously here you have more time and tires available than you have during a race weekend, so we try to get the best out of it. In the last few races, my feeling with the car has improved consistently, which shows that the new things we’ve brought have helped me drive better and better. Also, I am happy that I could help Charles Leclerc prepare for his test, but then it’s fair to say that all the team supported him.”

Renault

Robert Kubica: “It was a fantastic feeling for me to be here today in the R.S.17 and also it was amazing to see so many fans come to see me out on track, so thank you to all of them. It has been an incredible journey to this point, where I have answered many questions to myself. I learnt a lot about the latest generation car, as there are a reasonable amount of differences between it and the Formula 1 cars I have driven in the past. The car is certainly wider than before. I was able to work through the team’s programme methodically and I think we made good progress. Certainly my understanding of the R.S.17 and the 2017 tyres came on a lot. After today, it’s too early to say what the next step might be. For now, I owe a big thanks to everyone at Renault Sport Formula One Team for making this test happen.”

Alan Permane, Sporting Director: “It’s been a full and productive day with over two Grands Prix worth of laps completed. We worked through a comprehensive programme and Robert was able to give us great feedback. The R.S.17 ran faultlessly, even with the extreme temperatures we faced out on track. We have accumulated a lot of data over the past two days to add to the lessons learnt in the Grand Prix here, so we have scope to further optimise the car looking to the next Grands Prix after the summer shutdown.”

Williams

Luca Ghiotto: “What can I say other than first of all, I have to say a big thank you to Williams and everyone that made this possible because I have been working on this since I started racing. It was unbelievable and now that the day is over, I can say it has been more unbelievable than I thought it could have been. I am really happy about today, especially because I can see the team is happy about the work we’ve done, all the things we’ve tested have worked out well and we were good, we could feel all the changes we made. The car is unbelievable to drive and of course it took me a lot to adapt to such a great car. I did many laps which I’m surprised about. I couldn’t believe I could do 161 laps which is a lot, especially on such a tight track on a hot day, so yeah, I am really, really happy about the whole day. It was a shame we couldn’t do a laptime on the supersoft tyres because of the red flag at the end but still, considering all the tyres we ran and the conditions, I am really happy and also from what I saw, the team is happy with everything as well.”

Rod Nelson, Chief Test & Support Engineer: “On the second day of the test here in Hungary we had Luca in the car. We had a very optimistic program and we more than achieved everything we set out to do so I’m very pleased with the way the day went. We started off doing some short runs, doing some chassis work in the morning on new tyres and then they rolled into long runs in the afternoon. Luca was pretty quick and consistent which is exactly what we needed. He gave very good feedback and we’re very pleased with the results we got from today.”

Mercedes

George Russell: “I was very pleased with the test. I managed to get through the two days not so physically tired. I feel like I could have done even more laps. It’s obviously extremely tough driving the 2017 car. And there’s no rest at a circuit like this – especially in 36 degree temperature. I was playing it safe because I knew I had two days in the car with lots of mileage planned. I wanted to do a good job for the team and tick of all of their test items. We didn’t focus on coming out on top of the timesheets. We came away from this test learning a lot. From our point of view we took everything away we needed to. We had a couple of issues this morning, as things didn’t go quite to plan. But we had a very productive afternoon. At the end of the day, the engineers told me I had a loss of oil pressure and had to stop the car. That’s all I know at this stage, we’re looking into it more at the moment. I had a much better view with the Halo than I expected. When the sun was coming down at the end of the day, it blocked the sun from my eyes. So I actually saw more than I would usually see when the sun is low. From a driver’s perspective, the visibility is completely fine. The only hindrance could potentially be seeing the start lights. Getting in and out of the car with the Halo takes a bit of experience. I struggled initially, but after a few trial runs I was fine.”

Red Bull

Pierre Gasly: “It’s always awesome to be back in a Formula One car. These opportunities don’t come up very often, as F1 testing is so limited, so it was great to be back behind the wheel. Max didn’t have the smoothest day yesterday so we had a lot of work to do. In terms of driving it wasn’t the most exciting day for me, but the programme was really useful for the team – a lot of aero testing, a lot of long runs. In terms of tyre management it was useful for me too in gaining an understanding of how the tyres perform. In the end we didn’t get time to do any performance runs but it’s more important to focus on what the team needs to learn, and in the end we did more than 100 laps, so a good day.”

Senior Projects Engineer, Jeff Calam: “We definitely had a more productive day than yesterday. We had a couple of small gremlins during the day but nothing that significantly affected running. In the morning we started with aero mapping work using our current package and then later on we worked through some items related to vehicle dynamics and suspension. After the lunch break we were mostly looking at tyre work and finally we went back to more aero mapping. It’s not headline-grabbing stuff but it is really valuable information for the team and definitely gives us some directions to explore for the upcoming races and beyond. It was good to have Pierre back in the car and as usual he was very consistent and gave great feedback. He has been a bit unlucky with technical issues when he’s tested with us before so it was nice to be able to give him a clear run today.”

Haas

Santino Ferrucci: “The morning was good. It was nice to wake up and get straight back into the car. We had a couple of really good runs on the Pirelli softs with good balance in the car. In the afternoon, we switched to supersofts. We were just doing more development for future race weekends. We made a lot of forward progress, especially with the car and how the tires start off. I’m really happy with the team and I think we did a really good job.”

Force India

Lucas Auer: “It was a good session and I believe we managed to stick to our run plan and get all the data that the team wanted. I felt pretty good in the car this morning: I had a good night’s sleep and I felt a lot more confident compared to my first time in the car yesterday. The team helped me so much and I was very impressed by the work of everyone: they had a lot of data from the race weekend, of course, and it was interesting to see how they used it. There is so much attention to detail and everyone made sure the instructions were clear so we were able to maximise our time. Experiencing Formula One has been great. There is so much speed and the cars have so much downforce. You have to train your eye to be quick because everything happens faster – it’s a very interesting way of driving and you have to take care of a lot of settings on your steering wheels while pushing the car hard. It’s a real challenge. I feel every new car you drive teaches you something as a driver because you need to adapt to it. I’ll see in the next races what I have learnt from this. I’d like to thank the team once more for these two half days – it was a pleasure to drive the VJM10 and work with everyone.”

Nikita Mazepin: “It’s been a tougher day today as the track temperatures were much higher. Despite this, we kept working away, trying to find the best way to set up the car. We had a big run plan to go through and I think the team managed to get all the information they needed. We started with some aero runs and then moved on to longer stints as the day progressed. I felt more comfortable in the car as the day went on and I enjoyed the performance of the VJM10. It’s been great to be back in the car and help the team in this test.”

Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer: “It’s been a positive test for the team as we sign off for the summer break. Lucas had another mature half day in the car, improving with every run. The temperatures were rising throughout the morning, so he had to work hard for his improvements in laptime. Driving in the afternoon, Nikita had his first experience of track temperatures over 50C in a current generation F1 car. He completed some aero runs early on, with various rakes mounted on the car and after that the afternoon was dedicated to evaluating mechanical developments on the car. His pace was solid and he made another step in his development programme, but unfortunately a red flag spoiled his performance run. Both drivers were a pleasure to work with, fitted well within the team and helped us achieve all our run plan objectives. It’s been a hot test and the team have definitely earned the upcoming two weeks of summer break.”

Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz: “A very productive half a day of testing here in Budapest this morning. It was good to have a trouble-free session and run through the test programme smoothly. We were able to try a few new parts we had brought here – mainly all mechanical updates – in order to get ready for the second half of the season and I think we’ve found a good direction to follow. I was able to keep on learning and I can see the team pushing hard to bring in parts after the summer, which is always a good sign. But, before that, it’s time for everyone to go on a well-deserved break, charge batteries, and come back stronger – that’s what I will be doing! My holiday will be all about spending time with friends and family, as well as relaxing but, at the same time, making sure I keep fit for the next races that are just around the corner!”

Daniil Kvyat: “It was a good afternoon of testing. We tried quite a few things and learned a lot – we will now have to develop these new learnings and hopefully it will serve us well in the future. It’s always nice to test after a race weekend to find some new answers to things we were not able to try in Free Practice or Qualifying, for example. Now we go for a deserved holiday to recharge batteries and try again in the second half of the season.”

Jody Egginton, Head of Vehicle Performance: “Another useful day. Having both Daniil and Carlos in the car today has provided a good opportunity to have a further two points of reference for a number of performance items which tested well on Day 1 with Sean Gelael. He provided useful data, excellent technical feedback and did an impressive job yesterday. With further positive results from these items today, we will now conduct further analysis at the factory, targeting introduction of these parts into race weekends as soon as possible – there are definitely some useful performance gains to be had. In addition to these good results, we have also worked on a number of background items related to specific upcoming events in order to have as much homework as possible completed and give ourselves more time to focus on performance at these events. Another opportunity we had with our race drivers in the car today was being able to work on a number of car-balance limitations we noted during the GP weekend. In this respect we have collected a lot of useful data and made some improvements which we feel will be useful in the second half of the season. With regards to trackside operations, the mechanics have worked very hard during this test straight off the back of a busy race weekend, allowing the engineers to complete quite busy test programs here. I’d also like to thank the rest of the team, both here and at the factory, for all their support in order to achieve our testing goals here in Budapest. We now have a lot of data to go through both here and at the factory either side of the shutdown in order to carry as much momentum as possible into the next events. With a very close battle in the midfield, we are optimistic that some of what we have learnt here will be very useful as part of the ongoing development of the STR12 in the second half of the season. We look forward to the upcoming events after a well-deserved break!”