Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean ended the first day of running for the Hungarian Grand Prix just two thousandths of a second away from each other at a scorching hot Hungaroring today. The team went through a morning of aerodynamic assessment and an afternoon of tyre evaluation at the 4.4km circuit, with Romain's programme interrupted by a persistent coolant leak in the afternoon.
The morning session was predominantly dedicated to aerodynamic assessments. The afternoon session focused on tyre evaluation. Pirelli's medium (white) compound tyre was used in the morning session and the medium and soft (yellow) in the afternoon. Romain‘s car missed a significant portion of the afternoon session with a cooling system issue.
Romain Grosjean: "The car feels pretty reasonable here even if we missed a lot of the afternoon session because of a problem with the cooling system. It's a circuit I love so of course it was frustrating to miss track time as it's what you want to improve the car. As always, we have a reasonable amount of work to do ahead of tomorrow's qualifying, where we will be pushing all the way as grid position is so important here."
Pastor Maldonado: "It was an okay day for me and we didn't have any problems with my car which is always a positive. The car balance doesn't feel bad but getting grip from the tyres is the biggest challenge here. It's pretty hot and we expect that to be the same tomorrow, which should be good for tyre warm-up. I think we could perform better here than we have of late; that's certainly the target."
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: "It was a fairly normal Friday for us. We completed aerodynamic evaluations during the morning practice and focused on tyres and on long runs work in the afternoon. Unfortunately Romain had a problem with the water system on his car which limited his running quite a bit. It's been a productive day and there's more potential in the car. We have collected some useful data to enable us to be much further up the timesheets tomorrow."
Check out our Friday gallery, here.