The Formula 1 team kicked off the Hungarian GP weekend on Friday with the first two practice sessions. Ferrari and Red Bull worked on their pace and seemed to be leading during FP1, which saw Carlos Sainz taking the edge over Max Verstappen while Leclerc was in third place. Ferrari continued their dominance on Friday during FP2 as Charles Leclerc was the fastest ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris and his teammate Sainz. Meanwhile, Verstappen was only the fourth fastest in FP2, about three-tenths behind Leclerc. Thus, the reigning world champ has downplayed Red Bull’s chances at the Hungaroring if the condition continues to remain hot and dry.
After Friday’s sessions, Verstappen revealed that Ferrari was a bit ahead of Red bull. The Dutchman thought it would be quite a challenge for his team to beat Ferrari’s pace. However, Max stated that his team would try to close the gap to Ferrari overnight. He hoped that the weather would work in their favor, with chances of rainfall during qualifying on Saturday. Max said, “I think in the dry we can’t compete so maybe in the rain we can, who knows.”
Verstappen reckoned that Red Bull still has some work to do after struggling to find the optimal balance of their car on Budapest’s testing circuit. Max shared that he expected the track to be a little tricky and would try to find the balance from high to low speed. Max concluded, “Sometimes it works a bit better, sometimes a bit more tricky. But yeah, a bit of work to do.”
Perez Feels Rain Could Help Red Bull Bounce Back On Saturday
While Verstappen was fourth in FP2, his teammate Sergio Perez was far behind on the ninth, about a second behind Leclerc. The Mexican driver tried a number of setups during the practice to get his RB18 right. Checo revealed he tried many different bits with the aim of getting more comfortable with the car. He thought his team had a good idea and understanding of the day.
Moreover, Perez hoped that Red Bull would be able to reciprocate their learnings on Saturday, which could also transform into high and low fuel paces. However, the Red Bull driver was quite optimistic and admitted that Ferrari looked very strong on Friday. Further, Checo hoped that the expected rain could make the playing field a little more mixed. He concluded, “It should mix things up fairly nicely, so looking forward to it.”