It was a good day for Mercedes, with Bottas in particular impressing. He was fractions behind Verstappen in FP1, before topping the field in the afternoon session. Hamilton was also up there in both sessions, although he did complain about his tyres slightly more than his team mate, particularly the rears. All in all though, it is boding well for the team heading into the weekend, with those upgrades from Silverstone still doing the job and closing the gap to Red Bull.
Lewis Hamilton – FP1: 1:17.722, P3; FP2: 1:17.039, P2
“It was roasting today, I’ve probably lost 3kg out there and the tyres were melting! To see Valtteri and I at the top of the timesheets this afternoon is pleasing, it’s great for the team and we’ll only improve on that. We have some work to do tonight to see how we can finesse the car some more. You can’t plan for the rain, it’s so unpredictable so you just try and get the car in the best place, understand the tyres, and set the car up for a dry Qualifying and if it rains, it rains. I’m optimistic because I definitely think we can improve the car balance-wise and if we can do that, we should be there ready to fight tomorrow and for the race on Sunday.”
Valtteri Bottas – FP1: 1:17.616, P2; FP2: 1:17.012, P1
“It felt like being in a Finnish sauna today, especially when you stop mid-runs – it’s way more than 60 degrees in the cockpit! It makes it tricky with the tyres overheating but honestly, it didn’t feel too bad – a promising start. Recently we’ve been making improvements and I don’t think we’re in too bad a place but it’s only Practice, you never know what teams are holding back. In FP1 we had work to do with the balance but we made changes quickly and were in better shape for FP2, and no doubt there’s still more to come. We’ll be in on the fight for pole tomorrow and that’s hugely motivating.”
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
“We got off to a fairly difficult start on the Hard tyre this morning as the grip and balance just weren’t there. As the day went on we seemed to improve in terms of the timesheets, although we’re still finding the balance quite tricky. It may be that it’s the same for everyone, the track is at 60°C after all and the tyres are getting really hot which is making the long runs quite difficult. Overall, it is encouraging to see both cars at the top of the timesheets but with a risk of rain it may be a very difficult challenge tomorrow so we cannot take anything for granted.”
Read More: What the teams said – Friday at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix 2021-07-30 17:57:55