Hungaroring testing: trackside observations after the first day

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F1 Test, Hungary, Hungaroringhu

Formula One stayed at the Hungaroring after last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix for its second and last in-season testing session. F1Technical.net’s Balázs Szabó reports from the track.

1. After the heavens opened with an hour and a half to go on the opening day of the Hungaroring in-season testing, drivers seemed to be reluctant to test. Only Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren’s Lando Norris were active towards the end of the day on the very wet track. While the duo was still circulating on the track, several drivers were already walking around in the paddock.

2. Renault announced yesterday that his technical chief Bob Bell will retire from his current position, switching to a part-time role as a technical advisor. Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul revelaed that Bell will also look for the business side of the team’s operation.

"Under this planned transition within the team's executive management, Bob will now look closely at how to work with our partners but also the different stakeholders of Formula 1, and of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance, to ensure we continue to move even further up the grid," said Abiteboul.

3. After the chequered flag fell on Sunday, teams were in a rush to pack up everything which is not needed for the test programme. Ferrari which is the only team in the field to have two separate motorhomes, one for the media and another one for the team, unbuilt the media building just as they did last year.

4. Pirelli is the hot place during testing. It is the only hospitality unit which awaits journalist and guests while team’s hospitality services are restricted to team personnel during testing.

5. In-season testing after races usually turns out to be a mixture of on-track work and steady packing activities. While teams are still working on refining their cars, many are diligently packing up the FIA, FOM, F1 Experiences, Paddock Club and Fan Zone equipment. Since last years, the paddock area and the Fan Zone are more sophisticated which means extra work after GP weekends.

6. Teams are free to choose their compounds for testing, Mercedes ordered a significant amount of sets from the hypersoft, giving chance for George Russel to improve his one-lap performance. Performance runs are therefore expected from him on Wednesday.

7. Fans can visit the Hungaroring tests with a valid three-day or a Sunday Hungarian Grand Prix ticket or buy a ticket which costs HUF 5000 (equivalent to approximately EUR 13) for a day.

8. Williams, Force India and Red Bull were the first teams to bring their 2019 front wing design to the track. While Red Bull completed only a handful of laps with the simplified wing, Force India and Williams were running most of the day with the brand-new wing. The Grove-based team was doing continuously back-to-back testing, running only a lap and then coming back to the pit for a quick front wing change.

9. Red Bull’s decision to give its simulator driver Jake Dennis the chance to take part in the official Hungaroring tests came as a surprise because the team seemingly considers current FIA F3 top runner Daniel Ticktum as its best hope for the near future.

The Briton could not participate in the post-Hungarian test because he does not have the International A licence what is required to take part in an official F1 test. 14 superlicence points are needed to qualify for that licence and Ticktum has not yet that amount of point after his two-year-long race ban. Ticktum passed ten cars during a Safety Car period and deliberately collided with rival Ricky Collard for which he was banned.