Changeable weather and pleasant temperatures greeted the drivers and teams at the Hungaroring, scene of the third round of the Formula 1 season. Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc arrived at the track early this morning, before embarking on the usual Thursday tasks. These included the track walk with their engineers and then the first meetings of the weekend, to fix a plan for tackling Friday free practice.
Whiteboard and markers. Before meeting the journalists, the two drivers got out the whiteboard and marker pens for a game on Scuderia Ferrari’s social media channels, with each of them paired up with their respective electronics engineers. They all took turns at drawing something and guessing the words, with varying degrees of success. To see who won, just keep an eye on the Scuderia channels…
With the media. By mid-afternoon it was time for the FIA press conference in a clean room, organised by Formula 1 with journalists joining in by video link. Charles was up first, asked if he and Sebastian had spoken about the incident last Sunday in Spielberg. “We spoke about it immediately after the race and I apologised, so it’s behind us now.” Seb agreed: “It’s as Charles says. When two cars of the same colour come together it’s something no one wants, but it’s done now and we are both ready to give our best here in Hungary.”
A lot of work. The team has worked hard to bring two sets of new parts to replace those damaged in Austria. “This track is different, but it will be interesting to see how the updates that we fitted in Styria behave, after we only got to try them on the Friday,” said Sebastian. “We know that some of the new components looked promising and it will be important to see how they work in race trim. Personally, I like this track, even if it will be strange without any fans here, as it is one of the tracks that is usually packed.” Charles was of the same opinion: “This circuit is fun, even if overtaking is difficult. A year ago we struggled a lot here, but the new car is completely different to last year’s, so I can’t wait to get back in the cockpit.”
Programme. The first 90 minutes of free practice at the Hungaroring starts at 11 CET tomorrow, with the second session at 15. On Saturday, there’s a final hour of free practice at 12, followed by the grid-defining session at 15. The 35th Hungarian Grand Prix gets underway at 15.10 on Sunday.