Hungarian Grand Prix – Free practice two pace-setter Pierre Gasly highlighted that it would be “too early” to draw conclusions from a stop-start practice day in Budapest.
The Red Bull driver made a surprise appearance at the top of the timing screens in the early stages of free practice two, prior to the rain intensifying.
His soft-tyre run was enough to edge team-mate Max Verstappen at the top of the charts by less than one tenth of a second, but lap times didn’t have a chance to get below the best efforts from the morning session.
The majority of second free practice was held in damp conditions, where drivers generally refrained from going out onto the circuit, for fear of using up a set of intermediate tyres.
With conditions not drying up, Gasly was left to occupy P1, but warned that he expected a big response from Mercedes should the conditions remain consistent across Saturday and Sunday.
“We have a strong car and the package seems to be working well in both the dry and the wet, but we can’t take many conclusions from today with the mixed conditions,” said Gasly.
“I was happy with the car in both sessions, even if we didn’t do many laps, but it’s too early to see where we stand.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with the weather tomorrow but it could be really unpredictable like today with more tricky conditions. I think as expected Mercedes are really fast and we probably didn’t see Ferrari’s true pace so we’ll find out tomorrow what we can fight for, but the battle with Ferrari will be pretty tight.”
Verstappen – who had a harmless spin during free practice one – believes that Red Bull are looking competitive in both wet and dry conditions.
“I think it was a good day for us and although Mercedes seem to be a little bit ahead we’re very close which is positive. We learnt a lot this morning during the dry running and the car was competitive straight away.
“The car seemed to work well in both wet and dry conditions, which is very positive. Tomorrow is a new day but it all looks pretty close so it should be an interesting qualifying.”