Clear skies and balmy temperatures welcomed us at the Hungaroring today, as track action got underway for the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix.
A limited programme saw Pastor and Jolyon through the day’s first practice as baseline set-up work was carried out using the medium tyres. An unfortunate telemetry-related issue prevented Jolyon from setting a timed lap, with the Brit only completing four installation laps during the 90-minute morning session.
“That wasn’t the fullest FP1 session I’ve participated in,” reflected Jolyon. “And of course it was frustrating to be all ready to go but these things happen. I think the team is reasonably well placed for the weekend and the car looked quite good on track during the afternoon. It’s very hot here in Budapest so that could mix things up a bit tomorrow in qualifying and on Sunday for the race.”
Rising temperatures were indeed a hot topic for the day, with the track reaching 55°C in the afternoon’s practice session. “It was a hot sunny day, which we expect in Hungary, it’s summer!” said Romain who took to the wheel for his first time of the day, completing 39 laps over the course of several long runs. “It can make the cars more tricky to drive but that’s not something that bothers me particularly. The hotter it gets, the more degradation you’ll likely to get so you have to set the car up accordingly, and again, that’s normal for Budapest.
“In any case, it was a reasonably straight-forward FP2 for me,” continued the Frenchman. “And even though we didn’t end the session where we’d like to be on the timesheets, there’s decent pace in the car and it feels pretty handy around the Hungaroring. I’m pretty sure we’ll be quicker tomorrow.”
Tyre evaluation was carried out by both Pastor and Romain, using the two available compound tyres; Pirelli’s medium (white) and soft (yellow), over the course of a collective 75 laps, delivering plenty of data to scrutinise overnight ahead of Saturday’s qualifying.
“For sure it was something of a mixed up day, but it was good to get some decent laps in the afternoon and make some progress with the set-up of the car,” explained Pastor. “The Hungaroring is always a challenging circuit and I think there’s more to come from us this weekend. At certain times during the afternoon session we looked pretty competitive, but you never know anyone else’s programme. Tomorrow will be interesting, especially as qualifying position is so important here.
“We’re making some adjustments in the car and aiming for a top ten tomorrow. Overall, there’s a good challenge in managing the tyres here, and the track is quite tricky, a lot of curbs and bumps, but I really like it.”