Nick, Vitaly and Bruno all took their turns behind the wheel of the R31 in mixed weather conditions at the Hungaroring to kick off the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Alan Permane, Chief Engineer - Technical programme notes
-We conducted aerodynamic back to back evaluations of parts in the morning.
-We evaluated the soft and super soft Pirelli tyres.
What we learned today:
-The track was very green to begin with and all three drivers complained of low grip and general poor balance, with a main problem of an unstable rear end. .
-We have work to do to cure the oversteer we experienced in both sessions.
-We had a successful morning with Bruno, especially as he had only one session and one set of tyres to use – he didn’t put a foot wrong.
Bruno Senna, R31-04
Free practice 1: P15, 1:25.855, 25 laps
Bruno: “It was a great session for me in the car this morning; I learnt more about the car, and the evolution of it. I would have liked to have run on another set of tyres to get in a quicker lap time but it was still a great experience and very beneficial. Ideally, I would like to have achieved a faster time, but I had a productive time out there. I’m glad the weather held out as it allowed me to take what I wanted from the 90 minutes. It was a fantastic opportunity and I enjoyed every moment, no doubt about it.”
Nick Heidfeld, R31-04
Free practice 2: P14, 1:23.861, 28 laps
Nick: “As I only drove in the second session, we tried to make full use of this time and we made good progress with the car. We initially had a lot of oversteer but we made changes which rectified this. We’re heading in the right direction but there is still time to be found from the set-up. The grip level from the circuit seems quite low and there is quite a big difference between the tyres, so tomorrow will be interesting.”
Vitaly Petrov, R31-05
Free practice 1: P10, 1:25.093, 22 laps
Free practice 2: P17, 1:24.546, 21 laps
Vitaly: “We had some difficulties with the car, because the floor and rear wing were not performing efficiently. As a result, we lost some time and a chance to do more running, as we spent a lot of time fixing the problem. This was also the reason for the lack of grip we experienced out there. We also struggled to get sufficient temperature into the soft tyres. That said, we managed some good track time and completed quite a few laps, and we’ll now look ahead to tomorrow to improve on this and give us a good shot come Sunday.”
Did you know? Nick has twice finished third in the Hungarian Grand Prix.