Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi topped the timing sheets at the end of the first day of testing at Hungaroring, ending his full day stint in the SF71H substantially faster than any other driver in action on Tuesday.
Giovinazzi set a time of 1:15.648 better than any time ever set at the Hungaroring including at the recent Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, giving credence to Sebastian Vettel’s claims that there was still performance to be extracted from the team’s current package.
Marcus Ericsson was second fastest in the Ferrari powered Sauber, which the Swede will hand over to Giovinazzi for the final day on Wednesday.
Brendon Hartley was third for Toro Rosso racking up the most laps on the day, ahead of Lando Norris who was in action for McLaren.
Mercedes junior George Russell covered the least mileage on his way to fifth place on the timesheets ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in sixth Incidentally Both Force India and Red Bull were two of three teams to test the 2019-specification front wings for the first time on Tuesday.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg finished eighth, ahead of Williams’ Oliver Rowland, who was taking part in his second test drive for the Grove outfit.
Completing the timesheet was Sean Gelael, who was driving a Toro Rosso as part of the Pirelli tyre test programme. He caused a red flag period when he crashed at high-speed in Turn 11. He escaped unharmed but his team opted against sending him back out.
On Wednesday, the final day, Kimi Raikkonen will be in action for Ferrari, with Jake Dennis on duty for Red Bull, Artem Markelov making his test F1 debut for Renault, Nikita Mazepin will take over the Force India for the day and Robert Kubica driving the Williams.
Feedback from day one in Budapest:
Antonio Giovinazzi could have done with just a few more laps, partly to round it up to a hundred, or even 99, which is his favourite number and the one he had on the SF71H today, or maybe just because “driving a Ferrari is always special.” His running was cut short by a sudden and heavy downpour just as the team was preparing to send him out for his final run. However, on this first day of testing at the Hungaroring, the programme was successfully completed and Antonio’s second “rookie day,” after the one in which he took part in Barcelona, ended with a best lap of 1’15”648, set on the Hypersoft tyres and his lap total was 96. Antonio also ran with the Medium, Soft and Supersoft compounds. Tomorrow, Kimi Raikkonen gets behind the wheel for the final day.
Nico Hülkenberg: “It was good to work on the car in the morning, but my afternoon was rather less productive. That’s the nature of testing sometimes, and it’s better to be affected by things like these at a test than during a race. My focus is now very much on recharging my batteries and coming back for Spa in top form.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director: “Today was the first time we ran with chassis R.S.18-04 and we did have a productive morning of aero tests and working on set-up developments from the weekend to help determine future directions. Unfortunately, the afternoon run plan was interrupted by an electrical issue which took a long time to diagnose and then rectify. We are looking forward to seeing Artem make his debut in the car tomorrow.”
Brendon Hartley: “We had a lot of interesting items to test today and plenty of work in front of us. In the morning session, we completed the most laps of any team with 94 – this was actually quite punchy in the hot conditions! We had another busy programme to complete in the afternoon session and ended up with a total of 126 laps, but with the unforeseen weather changes we couldn’t complete all of our test items. Despite the rain at the end of the day, I have to say it was a really positive test for us!”
Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer): “We had a very busy and productive first test day here in Budapest, running two cars – one for STR and one for Pirelli – which is different to our normal testing.”
“Brendon was on duty driving the STR test car and carried out a very comprehensive plan, focusing on mechanical setup tests, aero work, tyre optimization, and Power Unit tests with Honda. We completed more scientific tests we normally aren’t able to carry out during a race weekend due to time constraints, running various test items on the chassis side with a view of introducing those at a later date, which were quite successful. There was also a number of items tested on the PU, these also performed very well.”
“We will continue our aero work tomorrow with plans to run quite a few rakes as many teams did today. Other items included a further understanding of the tyres in these extremely hot conditions; I think we’ve made very good progress during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, however, we wanted to confirm all of our findings and try to improve further.”
“It was an extremely productive day, and there’s some really positive performance items that have come out of testing which we can look forward to introducing in future races. We will run two cars again tomorrow with Brendon and Pierre sharing duties in the Pirelli car, and Sean in the STR test car.”
Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director): “For the first day of testing at the Hungaroring, work focussed mainly on the chassis side. However, we were also able to try various new items on the PU. The morning went very smoothly, but the rain in the final 90 minutes of the afternoon meant we stopped running early. However, we were able to gather a substantial amount of data, which we will now analyse overnight with the aim of having another fruitful day tomorrow.”
Hot on the heels of his superb drive from 12th on the grid to fourth place in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo was today back behind the wheel of the RB14 in Budapest, as Formula 1’s second in-season test of the campaign got underway at the Hungaroring.
Daniel Ricciardo: “We did some good work today. There was a lot of long-run stuff, a lot of data gathering, and we got through some set-up changes as well, so it was a pretty good day for the team. We ran with a lot of rakes and aero parts, so I know we tried a few things, but honestly I’m not too sure of the detail.”
“I do know we used some 2019 Pirelli test tyres and that did feel quite different, so we’ll see what comes of that. It was a pretty busy day and we got a lot of laps under our belt, so I don’t feel too bad about saying that’s me done for the moment – now it’s holiday time!”
Senior Projects Engineer Jeff Calam added: “We had a very productive test today, during which we were able to look towards the races to come after the summer break and also towards next season. We ran some test elements aimed at 2019’s car and gathered a lot of valuable information, which will certainly help with the development of the RB15. As with other teams we also had a set of 2019 Pirelli test tyres available, so, all in all, it was a very useful day for the long-term. It was also useful for the short and medium-term too, as we were also able to answer a few questions we’ve had about the RB14 since the last in-season test in May and the data from that will undoubtedly help us for the remainder of this season. We had some rain today, but that wasn’t unexpected, so we even managed to schedule in some wet weather test items. Overall a very good day, with no reliability issues, and a lot learned.”
Lando Norris: “It was really enjoyable to get back in the car today, especially as it’s one year since I first made my debut. The first three-quarters of the day were obviously really good. I did a lot of testing; quite a few aero runs but at the same time a good amount of proper runs, so I had a good feeling for the car – until it rained! That put us back a bit, so there are some things we’ll need to carry on testing tomorrow.”
“It’s the first time I’ve driven a Formula 1 car in the rain, so it was good to feel the difference from F2 to F1 in the wet. It was still tricky, but I thought it would be a lot trickier because of how much more horsepower you have in F1. At the same time, you have a lot more grip than in Formula 2, so it’s just on another level, in a similar way to how it is in the dry.”
“Cornering speeds and braking performance are much better than you’d expect in the rain, so I had more confidence than I thought I was going to have. I was a bit nervous before I went out because it got properly wet very quickly!
“I had a good feeling even in the wet, but then it dried out very quickly. I’ve experienced basically everything today weather-wise, and did 107 laps, so that’s really positive.”
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: “It was a good day for the team. We had spent a long time preparing for this event, concentrating on 2019 aero regulations. The team did a good job to prepare for it and everything went more-or-less according to plan, and we collected all the data we needed. We brought a 2019 aero specification front end, and all of the data that we were able to collect will really enrich the 2019 programme going forward.”
“Oliver did a great job, he got on with it, was very professional and diligent and went through all the data gathering runs. He was unfortunate with the weather at the end of the day when it started to rain, as we had just got onto a clean car, so he hasn’t really put in any timed laps. But, he certainly impressed us all with his work ethic. Once we did get onto new tyres at the end of the aero testing, he did a really good job and showed good pace immediately.”
Oliver Rowland, Official Young Driver: “I think in general it went well. I would have preferred to get a bit more of a run at the end when the rain came in, but I can’t control the weather. Everything ran to plan for the team, there was a couple of hold-ups during the day but we managed to make up for that time and the mechanics did a job to get everything fixed and fitted in certain times throughout the day. From a team’s perspective, we gathered a lot of data and it was positive.”
George Russell: “It’s been fantastic to get back behind the wheel of the Mercedes Formula One car. The speed, power and downforce are just completely on another level, so as soon as I jumped in this morning I had a massive smile on my face. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite do as many laps as anticipated owing to some rain this afternoon and a couple of small issues this morning. Nevertheless, it’s been a really good day for me and I think the team learned some things, which is important. Now I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Andrew Shovlin: “It wasn’t the best of days for us as we only completed 49 laps. We had an issue with the gearbox early on that cost us some time. We were able to tick off some of the data collection test items in the remainder of the morning and early afternoon but, just as we started to get into some proper running, it began to rain.”
“It’s been good to see George back in the car today and he’s done a good job but we had hoped to keep him a bit busier. We’ve got a lot to do tomorrow, and it looks like we may get some more rain, so we will review our programme tonight to make sure we can make the most of these conditions.”
Nicholas Latifi: “It has been a very productive day of testing and I was happy to get many more laps behind the wheel, getting more and more confident with each run. The majority of our programme was built around the new aero parts for 2019, based on the new set of regulations for the sport: it was interesting to feel how they worked on the car and to gather data for the team.”
“In the afternoon we got caught out by the rain, which meant I didn’t get to do the fun part – the performance runs we had planned with hypersoft tyres. I was a bit disappointed to miss out on that but that’s how it happens sometimes. I am still pleased with my performance today and I am looking forward to being in the car again soon.”
Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer, “It was overall a successful day. We managed to get all the aero data we set out to obtain, something that was critical for our 2019 car development. We had a new front wing on the car, alongside other test items and instrumentation.”
“Nicholas didn’t put a foot wrong all day – he settled straight back into the team and, as it was clear from the previous times he was in the car, he was able to do useful work from the first lap. The heavy rain showers in the afternoon meant we had to cut our programme short, but we still managed a solid 103 laps so we can be satisfied with our work.”