The high temperatures at the Hungaroring are a challenge for the drivers, and Valtteri Bottas compared the hot conditions to a “Finnish Sauna”.
Bottas went fastest in FP2, and he was right behind Max Verstappen in the first practice session, showing that Mercedes has a great pace around the Hungaroring. The track temperatures were very hot, over 60 degrees Celsius, and the air was hot too.
“Honestly, it feels like being in a Finnish sauna – it’s a good comparison especially when you stop running, you get the heat,” said Bottas. “It’s way more than 60 degrees, 70 degrees in the cockpit. It’s sweaty but out on track at least you get a bit of air.
“It gets a bit tricky with the tires, overheating, but honestly it didn’t look or feel too bad compared to the others, so I don’t think it was a bad start for us today,” he added.
Bottas also admitted that he was not completely haèppy with the car after FP1, but the team worked well and he felt way better in the afternoon.
“I have to say in Practice 1, with the balance, we had quite a lot of work to do but we quickly reacted, and it starts to feel quite OK,” he said, “but for sure there’s more to come, no doubt, and it’s good to see that most likely we’re going to be in the fight for pole tomorrow so that’s motivating.”
Lewis Hamilton as well showed to have a decent pace, but he was always behind his teammate. The Briton also added that, even though rain is expected this weekend, the team did not try anything different with the setup.
“You can’t plan for the rain on a hot day like this; you can’t set the car up soft for the rain, because it’s quite unpredictable, so you just try to get the car in the best place as you can. There’s not a huge difference between the setup anyway. We’ll set the car up for dry qualifying and if it rains, then it rains,” said Lewis.
“To see Valtteri and I both on the front row pace-wise, I think, is great for the team and we’ll only improve on that. We’ve got some work to do tonight to see how we can finesse the car a little bit more but it’s a good start.”