HUNGARORING, July 25, 2014 (F1plus/Graham Keilloh).- After strong recent form for the Williams team, including three successive podiums and the status of ‘best of the rest’ behind Mercedes, Friday practice ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix was more modest for Williams today.
Valtteri Bottas was down in P15 in the first session and P8 in the second, but still a second and a half from the pace. For his team mate Felipe Massa fates were similar, with him finishing up in P10 in both sessions, in his case almost two seconds off the mark at the top in FP2.
But both Williams drivers admitted that they thought in advance that the characteristics of the sinewy Hungary track might not suit their car.
“I think it was really expected that could be the case” said Bottas, “we know here it’s going to be more difficult (to beat Red Bull and Ferrari), but that should be the target, we know it’s not going to be as easy as some other places...
“I think it’s going to be really tight this weekend.”
Massa concurred that “Maybe it will be a little bit more difficult track for us here”.
But both Williams drivers agreed too that come tomorrow’s qualifying matters could look very different for the Grove team.
“Let’s see tomorrow after the qualifying to be more sure where we are” said Massa. And Bottas agreed:
“It’s really difficult to predict exactly where we will be tomorrow as normally from Friday practice to qualifying a lot of things can change; we can still improve everything for tomorrow. I can get a better lap in and we as a team can get the set-up better.
“I think there’s still plenty of lap time to go down tomorrow, like every weekend from Friday to Saturday we can make some good steps.”
Bottas reminded us too that, as was the case in Hockenheim a week ago, the Williams team is one that does not go for headline-grabbing lap times in Friday practice.
“The first session we were not really aiming for lap time we were just going through the programme, and second session, yeah it’s a normal Friday! So I think the main issues like everyone, we were sliding quite a lot on the track, struggling a little bit for grip. But the balance is not too bad.”