|Distance||306,630 km / 190,571 miles|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||SF71H||–||Scuderia Ferrari||2.|
|7||Kimi Raikkonen||SF71H||–||Scuderia Ferrari||3.
Maurizio Arrivabene: “At a track where overtaking in the race is always difficult, we managed to finish higher up the order than we started, thanks to the efforts of the entire team and a great performance from both drivers. Now we still have one week at work before the summer break, which will allow us to reflect calmly on the races yet to come. There is still a long way to go this season and the important thing is for the team to work in a calm and determined fashion, giving its all during the second half of the season.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Today we were fast in the first stint, but at the end I was a little bit disappointed because I had lost 3 or 4 seconds in the traffic. The pit stop we did was not ideal either, as we lost some time there. Then it was very hard, when I was running close to Valtteri and trying to overtake him. However, at the end I knew I could be faster than him thanks to my tires, which were fresher. However, we tried everything we could and I think second position is the best result we could get today. I think there’s a lot of things we did well and some others not that much, but that’s part of the game. It has been a very hard week for all of us, so I think that having both cars on the podium is a very good result. I am happy to see that the car is fast, it has worked well on every track so far, so I think this is the most important thing. Our car has a big potential, so I feel relaxed, going on holiday, for the races to come.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “The start was ok, I got a tow and I was deciding which side I should go; but then Bottas moved the same side, trying to block me, so I braked earlier and lost the position to Sebastian. After that it was all about trying to get some free air and use the speed I had, giving myself a hard time in trying to to put pressure on the others and not being able to save the tires. The race went by pretty quick, we were pushing through the whole race with decent tires all the time because of the two-strategy stops we had. The fact of not having my drink bottle available was obviously not ideal, but not so much of an issue either. Today we had the speed, but we know that this is a tricky circuit for overtaking. The race was decided yesterday in qualifying, but in the end we managed to get back one place each. Second and third is the maximum we could hope for today; it’s quite an ok result, but it’s not what we want. On the second half of the season we’ll try to turn it around and do a bit better. I know it’s still a long way to go, anything can happen and things can change quickly. We keep pushing, trying to improve on the small details and be consistent, and I’m sure we can get higher podium positions.”
Seb and Kimi fight to the flag: 33 points for the Scuderia
Mogyorod, 29 July –From second row on the grid to a double podium finish. With Seb second and Kimi third, Scuderia Ferrari probably got the most they could out of a difficult Sunday. However, there has to be a question mark, or maybe regret, about what might have been, but for a moment’s hesitation at the pit stop. Or for that matter, if it hadn’t rained on Saturday afternoon. But the SF71H continues to show it is strong everywhere and Vettel’s overtake on Bottas was the best move of the race.
FILM OF THE RACE. Kimi started from third on the Ultrasoft tyres and behind him, Seb was the only driver in the top four to opt for Softs, which would offer less performance at the start but would last longer. It was a normal start up to turn 2 when Seb went round the outside of Kimi, from which point on he had to manage his pace.
Raikkonen was the first to pit, coming in on lap 15 for Softs, with Bottas covering the move next time round. After 20 laps, Seb began to step up the pace with the aim of pulling out a big enough lead over Bottas in order to stay ahead after the pit stop. That brought down the gap to Hamilton who pitted on lap 26, fitting the Softs, or the Options if you prefer engineers-speak.
Sebastian continued to gain on Valtteri and therefore stay on track. Kimi was also catching his fellow countryman, having lost a bit of time at the pit stop while tyre debris was cleared out of the brake duct.
After 33 laps, Raikkonen was now in DRS distance of Bottas, but overtaking is not easy here and there are backmarkers to steer clear of and Seb also radioed the pit wall to ask for the blue flags.
On lap 39, the Ferrari mechanics stepped out into the pit lane to fit another set of the yellow banded tyres for Kimi. As planned, Seb went for the Quali tyres, the purple-banded Ultrasofts. But the stop took longer than planned and the SF71H emerged behind Bottas who had significantly upped his pace. The two men duelled on track, while Kimi set a fastest race lap. In fact, now the main concern was not attacking, but not staying too close to the car in front in order to control the brake temperatures.
In the last 20 laps, the number 5 car closed up again before a Virtual Safety Car was needed after Vandoorne stopped on track. As the race resumed, Vettel’s Ultrasofts were still in great condition, but after Monaco, the Hungaroring is the worst track for those who enjoy watching overtaking moves. By now, Kimi had closed right up on these two, which on any other track would have been the prelude to some thrilling action.
Lap 65 and Seb made a bold move down the outside, taking the inside line through turn 2 to go ahead of Bottas, who, in trying to defend his position, hit the Ferrari damaging his front wing, which meant Kimi was able to slip by. The race had turned around but too late to aim for the top position. But nevertheless it was a race in which Ferrari could take pride in its combative nature.
Kimi: not so lucky with traffic. Seb: good car for the race
Mogyoròd, July 28 – The lottery of a wet qualifying session resulted in Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, taking 3rd and 4th place on the grid respectively. Conditions were tricky throughout the session as rain was falling with variable intensity and some sections of the track were flooded, while you could see semi-dry patches in others, so the call for tyres was always difficult in the first two segments, while the third one saw the Extreme Wet compound being the only sensible choice. The SF71Hs could not capitalize on the performance advantage that had been apparent in the dry P3 session, but both drives are determined to do their best in tomorrow’s 70 lap race, for which dry and particularly hot conditions are currently forecast.
“Overall” Kimi commented “this weekend the car has been really good in any conditions. In qualifying it was a bit tricky, but I enjoyed driving it a lot. The speed was there and the car was working well in wet conditions. Today we were more competitive in the rain than we had been in other places; It was nice, I was pleased because this hadn’t been our strongest point lately. In Q3 with used tires we were fastest of all, but with the new set we were a bit unlucky with the traffic; we got stuck a bit behind another car and with all the spray we could not have a clear lap. There was nothing we could do, as we were limited on time. It’s a pity because there was a lot of grip on the new tires: I’m sure we had the speed and everything else to get the first place, but we have to be positively happy that now we can actually challenge for the front in wet conditions”.
“I don’t think it was an awful session overall”, said Seb; “we were just not quick enough. Conditions were tricky and it was hard to squeeze everything out of the car, but I think my laps were generally fine. In wet conditions, we weren’t so confident as we had been in the dry, so we have some work to do. Today it was not a straightforward session, but I think we managed it well until the end. Obviously, we were missing a bit of something, but that’s how it is. We’ll see what tomorrow brings: the start is important, but the race is 70 laps long and I think we’ll be fine. I’ll move off from the second row, so we’ll focus on what we need to do starting from there. However, we have a good car no matter the conditions, and that’s the main thing”.
Qualifying in the rain
Budapest 28 July – At the end of a qualifying session held in the rain, Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest in a time of 1’36”186. His German team-mate Sebastian Vettel posted a 1’36”210 to secure fourth place on the grid. The Scuderia Ferrari drivers used Intermediate, Ultrasoft and full wet tyres during the session. The red lights go out to start the race at 1510 tomorrow.
Seb 1stKimi 3rd for Ferrari
Budapest, 28 July – At the end of the final free practice session at the Hungaroring circuit, Sebastian Vettel was fastest in 1’16”170. Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was third quickest this morning in1’16”373. Both drivers followed the same tyre programme, running the purple-banded Ultrasofts for the whole session.
Next up is qualifying at 15h00.
Seb and Kimi: not an easy Friday, but “technically one of the best”
Mogyorod – The best way for Scuderia Ferrari to honor the late Sergio Marchionne and endure the tragic events of this week is to focus on the job we have to do this weekend. Both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen are well aware of this and the whole team did their best in the first day of practice at the Hungaroring, an effort resulting in a convincing pace in both the fast laps and the long runs. But it’s only Friday and the real challenge will begin tomorrow on the hot, 4.381 kilometre-long track just a few miles from Budapest.
“I was pretty happy in the afternoon” Seb said “more than in the morning session, as I think the car is performing well also over one lap. We can still improve, but this has been one of the best Fridays so far, technically speaking. Having a great amount of work ahead of us is probably the best thing for keeping our mind busy and getting through the weekend. It’s not easy, but I focused on the job to do. On this track, the qualifying session and the start are very important and can make the difference because overtaking is very difficult. Getting ahead after the first couple of corners is crucial, but there’s a lot of work to do before getting to that point”.
“It was a very normal Friday”, Kimi commented “trying things and learning as much as possible. The conditions were not very easy in many ways, but it’s normal on a Friday. We don’t really pay too much attention to the lap times, they really don’t count in a practice session. For sure we still have some work to do, but it was not too bad and the car worked as we expected. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll have the speed we need”.
Friday practice comes to an end
Budapest, 27 July – Friday’s F1 track action has come to an end at the Hungaroring and the Scuderia Ferrari drivers ended up first and fourth in the second free practice session. Sebastian Vettel posted a lap in 1’16”834 and Kimi Raikkonen did a 1’17”153. At the start of the session, the Finn ran the Medium tyres, while his German team-mate opted for the Softs. Then, both men were on the same tyre programme, using the purple-banded Ultrasofts, before switching back to the Softs for the long runs.
The final free practice session takes place tomorrow at 12, followed by qualifyin at 15h00.
Ferrari 2nd and 4th fastest
Budapest, 27 July– This is the final Formula 1 race weekend prior to the summer break. At the end of the first free practice session, Sebastian Vettel was second quickest in a time of 1’17”692 and his Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was fourth in 1’17”948. The German used only Ultrasoft tyres, while his Finnish team-mate also used the yellow softs in addition to the purple banded compound. The second practice starts at 15h00.
Recalling a special time when there was no summer break
That particular 16th August is now twenty years ago. There was no summer break back then, but there were only sixteen Grands Prix in the season, the Hungaroring was less than four kilometres in length and had only been on the calendar for thirteen years. It was the first season of grooved tyres and narrow track F1 cars, the fifth year of refuelling which had such a major impact on strategy.
The victory on 16th August was one of Michael Schumacher’s best with Scuderia Ferrari, mainly because the win had seemed impossible. It was a brilliant result built on ability, coordination and concentration, the concentration required to switch from a two to a three stop strategy after 43 laps, while building up enough of an advantage to emerge still in the lead. And all that while dealing with the Hungarian circuit’s notorious traffic.
Leap forward twenty years and the F1 cars are nice and wide again, refuelling has gone, the Hungaroring main straight is longer and following the GP and two days of testing on Tuesday 31 July and 1 August, the teams will take a well-deserved break as from the following week. Those who build up the pit garages have not had a day off since Germany, heading from there directly to Budapest. The majority of the race team arrives on Wednesday. It’s been a demanding time for everyone and not just because of the work. As for the race, it’s a well-known fact that the Hungarian track is slow, with Vettel’s 2017 pole lap run at just over 206 km/h and overtaking is not easy. The dry tyres available will again be the Medium, Soft and Ultrasoft, while there are a few question marks over the weather for qualifying and the race.