There’s much to reflect upon in the heat of a Hungarian Saturday afternoon – not least the continuing affect tyres have on every car’s performance.
While Sebastian will be pleased that he will start in the top three, Mark will be disappointed that he didn’t make the cut into the top ten, but both glad that our Q1 medium compound strategy worked as just squeezed into Q2.
After a very solid performance in this morning’s free practice when Mark topped the timesheets, there was no complacency within the garage, just a desire to convert that good form into great grid positions. Knowing the car had pace here meant we elected to stay on the harder compound through Q1, and while 15 and 16 looked tight, it still meant we were in good shape for Q2.
Mark’s first run was a good time, but he didn’t improve during his second run and had to watch as he slowly dropped down the running order as first Hulkenberg and then Senna moved into the top ten. Afterwards he didn’t feel happy on the last set of soft tyres in Q2, but said: “The field is very tight at the moment and it’s disappointing to qualify in 11th obviously. Our race pace should be OK tomorrow.”
Sebastian then staked a claim in the top two (Lewis’ time was always going to be very tough to beat) but Grosjean sneaked on to the front row in the dying seconds of the session.
Afterwards Christian was sanguine, admitting: “It was a very busy qualifying session and I think P2 would have been our optimum today – Lewis’ time over a single lap was unreachable, but we’re confident we have got a good race car.”
The rumour is that tomorrow’s weather will be changeable, although you can’t predict anything with 100% accuracy. A bit like every day in Formula One this season…