Dominant, but eventful day for Mercedes

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Mercedes F1 Team dominated Friday’s action at the Hungaroring. Despite the car's unquestionable speed, the team was left with plenty of work after Lewis Hamilton came together with the barriers in the opening minutes of the afternoon’s practice session.

Lewis Hamilton topped the first practice and led the early minutes of the second session, but he lost control over his Mercedes in turn 11. He braked hard, but could not stop his car crashing into the barriers in the spacious run-off area. He managed to limp back into the pits, but his car sustained enough damage to force the team into ruling out any further running.

“Obviously, not the greatest session for me. My apologies to the crew for all the hard work they have ahead to strip the car and get it back together.”

“Fortunately, I got a good feel for it in the few laps that I did have and the pace is clearly there, so hopefully tomorrow I can make up for the time lost today during the morning session and come back strongly in Qualifying,” said the three-time world champion.

The team’s technical director Paddy Lowe blamed the kerbs for the spin.

“Unfortunately, early in FP2 Lewis was caught out by one of the new, unpainted kerbs on the entry to T11, resulting in quite a heavy impact with the barriers. This ruled him out of the remainder of the session as the crew assessed the damage to his car.”

Lowe also revealed that Lewis briefly visited the track's medical centre, but left quickly as there were no injuries at all.

“The most important thing is that Lewis was unharmed despite the impact. These cars are very stiff and very strong in a pure lateral load, so he went to the medical centre for assessment after a high G-Force reading from the accident data recorder – but luckily the tyre barrier took most of the energy out of the impact.”

Although the car of the reigning world champion suffered some damage, the team will be able to fix it in quite a short period of time.

“There has been some damage to suspension and a few bodywork elements – but this will be easily fixed overnight.”

Championship-leader Nico Rosberg had a less eventful day and he topped the second practice session after his team-mates early out.

“An impressive day for us, performance-wise. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be in quite such a strong position tomorrow – but for now it’s very positive.”

“I’m feeling great out there and the car is very quick, so a good start to the weekend overall. We got everything done in terms of qualifying and race sim work and it’s all looking very good.”
The German thinks the resurfaced asphalt is a boost for Mercedes as the change in grip level favours the Silver Arrows.

“I think the new asphalt suits us, so I’m optimistic.”

Rosberg was fully motivated today as he signed his new, two-year contract yesterday.

“It’s a great feeling to start the day like that with the contract being sorted. That was always going to be a positive boost. Now I’m really excited for the rest of the weekend in my awesome Silver Arrow.”