Formula One is heating up for a scorching Hungarian Grand Prix. F1Technical.net's Balázs Szabó is breathing in every inch of the last race before the summer break, bringing the latest from the paddock to you.
1. Praising his car's performance in the wet, Lewis Hamilton conceded that Mercedes has only been the third force in dry condition behind the field-leading Ferrari and the resurgent Red Bull. The W09 has been developing problems with Pirelli's ultrasoft tyres, overheating them even on one single qualifying lap. Standing around the last corner, it was interesting to note that while Mercedes drivers were able to carry good speed through the first two sectors, they struggled with a naughty rear end in the last two bends of the twisty and hot Hungaroring.
2. Mercedes changed the energy store and control electronics in Lewis Hamilton's car for Saturday morning. Drivers are permitted to use two units of those power unit components, and with the season already passed its halfway-point, the Briton looks set to complete the season without problems in that regard.
3. After wild speculation surrounding Fiat, Ferrari and Maserati CEO Sergio Marchionne's death, the rumor has it in the Hungarian GP Paddock that the Canadian-Italian died of serious illness. The Zürich University Hospital defended itself by claiming that Marchionne – a heavy smoker – had a serious illness and was treated for more than a year.
4. Daniel Ricciardo confirmed that there will be no confirmation regarding his future in Formula One. After Mercedes extended the contracts of their current drivers, Ricciardo seems to stay put at Red Bull. It is believed that the two parties are only negotiating about the length of the new contract.
5. After an investigation of an alleged impeding, Max Verstappen was cleared by the race stewards. The Dutch driver was believed to have impeded Romain Grosjean at the very end of the qualifying session. Although the four-time GP winner was found guilty, he avoided the penalty after "the Stewards took into account that with the very wet conditions, there was limited visibility ahead, and no visibility behind the drivers."
6. Kimi Räikkönen was left disappointed after the qualifying session for the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Finn was fastest of all after the first run, but his second lap was destroyed by the spray Romain Grosjean's car was developing in front of him.
7. It was confirmed on Friday that the Force India team went into administration. The action was a consequence of legal action that the team's Mexican driver Sergio Perez started. The Guadalajara-born driver said that "we got to a point where action had to be taken, to protect the 400 people that work in the team. I should not really like to be involved in this because at the end of the day I'm just a driver, but it got too much and I was asked by a couple of members of the team to go ahead and save the team," he is quoted as saying by autosport.com.
8. Despite hoping for a successful race weekend, Daniel Ricciardo will start tomorrow's Hungarian Grand Prix from the sixth row. The Perth-born had a torrid qualifying by having been forced to qualify on the softs in the first segment which was then followed by an unfortunate Q2 session. Ricciardo was on a hot lap at the start of the second qualifying session, but he had to abort his lap following Lance Stroll's spin. "The following laps it was too wet and in the last sector I was just trying to survive. We had to put the Wets on, but they were never going to be as quick as the Inters as the conditions of the track got much worse compared to the beginning," he said.
9. It is interesting to note that Red Bull lost its good wet-track performance in 2018. The energy drink-owned team has been strong over the past seasons in rainy conditions. The team's Dutch driver Max Verstappen pointed to the tyres which the RB14 could not switch on on damp track. "It seems at the moment that this year’s car struggles a bit in the wet and we need to look into why it is different to last year’s. We have already experienced that we struggle to get heat into the tyres and today that really showed."