Hungarian Grand Prix 2020 – Practice

George Russell (GBR) Williams Racing FW43. Hungarian Grand Prix, Friday 17th July 2020. Budapest, Hungary.

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Off the back of two consecutive races in Austria, we were looking forward to testing out the car and drivers at a different circuit. However, the weather has made it difficult to conclude much today. In FP1, there was some light rain, which masked the track evolution, encouraged drivers to use different tyre compounds, and made conclusions on our relative pace almost impossible. Nonetheless, we completed the work that we set out to achieve, and we will be able to make conclusions tonight that will impact the set-up of the cars tomorrow.

Following heavy rain between the sessions, and further steady rain throughout FP2, we chose to do very little this afternoon and instead to protect the cars. For much of FP2, the conditions were very poor, and it is unlikely that we would either qualify or race in such low grip, low visibility conditions.

We are hoping for better weather tomorrow so that we can further our understanding of the FW43. However, given our relatively good pace during wet qualifying last weekend, if it remains wet then we’ll be happy, and we’ll once again do our very best to outperform the basic pace of the car.

Overall, a bit of a washout of a day but both drivers got some useful experience of the Hungaroring circuit in FP1. Both showed decent pace and have provided us with some valuable feedback on the car and the tyre compounds.

Nicholas Latifi: I think we started off on a pretty good base line this morning, and we were ready for the first run on the qualifying tyre. We got into a good rhythm quite quickly and we set a relatively competitive time compared to everybody else, so I was pleased. For the rest of FP1 we tried a few different set-up options, to experiment a bit, which is what practice is for. I think we learnt some things, but obviously nothing could be carried over into FP2. We didn’t really do any proper running this afternoon, just a few install laps during that session, so I guess we just have to see what the weather does tomorrow.

George Russell: This morning during FP1 and in the dry conditions, the car was feeling alright, nothing special, but our focus was on trying some different set-up changes. We know where our baseline is and we know what we are going to get from the car, so we have gone in different directions to see if we can get more performance. Nothing we tried offered more performance, which suggests that we were in a good position from the off. Although I only did an out and an in lap due to the moist conditions in FP2, the car felt fine on those two laps. I am sure it will be a hectic session tomorrow if the conditions stay the same, but I think that is what we need to mix things up a bit. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and will be ready with the rest of the boys to try and pounce on that.

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