The team made the most of both free practice sessions with Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet successfully completing their Friday programmes. Both practice sessions took place in warm and sunny conditions, although the track was quite dusty to begin, which made for a low-grip surface. However, as the morning session developed the track eventually improved, allowing the team to make good progress with the set-up of the R28.
For the afternoon the team continued exploring set-up options and evaluated the two compounds of Bridgestone tyres available this weekend. The team will now analyse the information gathered today to be ready for the all-important qualifying session tomorrow afternoon.
Fernando Alonso: “It was a typical day of practice with a lot of laps covered and lots of data to analyse this evening to be ready for tomorrow. Overall we improved the car and we are moving in the right direction. We still have a few things to improve, but if we can make the most of the final free practice session tomorrow morning, we should be able to approach qualifying in good shape.”
Nelson Piquet: “Our free practice programme went well and we have made progress. The car was reacting well to the different set-up solutions that we tried and so I am quite satisfied with the day’s work. The track changed a lot during the day and it’s quite a demanding place with lots of corners, but I enjoyed driving the circuit and I hope things continue like this tomorrow.”
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: “It was a very productive first day here in Hungary. On this circuit, where qualifying is particularly important, it’s no secret that our fuel load was slightly lower than normal, but even so we look competitive. Our main focus was to understand the tyres and in particular the effect of graining. All in all it was a successful day for us.”
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations “This is a track we know well and so our main focus today was to concentrate on the set-up of the cars. There were not any problems which allowed us to make good progress with our programme and the results from the first day of practice are rather encouraging. It’s difficult to know exactly where we are relative to our competitors because the impact of carrying fuel here is significant, but it was important to complete our programme, which we have done.”