Sebastian Vettel is eager to cancel out his error in Germany by winning the Hungarian Grand Prix after setting the fastest time of Friday practice.
While leading by around ten seconds, Vettel crashed out of his home race in damp conditions, opening the door for main title rival Lewis Hamilton to take victory. After topping FP2 at the Hungaroring, Vettel — who had not spoken on Thursday following the death of Ferrari chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne — was asked if he’s keen to bounce back quickly from that error, to which he replied: “Of course, what else can I do?
“It’s probably good to have a race straight away and focus on the next thing we do. I hope we can cancel it out and make this race count and then forget Hockenheim.”
As Ferrari has had some inconsistent starts to recent weekends, Vettel says his strong performance on Friday — having finished a close second to Daniel Ricciardo in FP1 — bodes well.
“I think it was OK, I think there is always a little bit you can do better,” said Vettel, who now sits 17 points behind Hamilton in the drivers’ championship.
“It’s been a hot day so I think everyone was trying to get the tires to work, so we’ll see how we do tomorrow. I don’t know what the weather’s doing but it will be crucial to get them to work, to find the sweet spot and then we will see.
“Probably the qualifying and the start are very important here. Overtaking is very difficult, so whoever is ahead after the first couple of corners will be crucial, but to get there there are a lot of things to do and a lot of work ahead.
“I was pretty happy in the afternoon and happier than in the morning. I think the car is pretty good over one lap but it’s been one of the better Fridays because they have been up and down for us recently. It has been quite solid.”
While Mercedes was fifth and sixth in both sessions on Friday, Vettel expects a close fight between the top three teams in qualifying.
“I think it’s very tight. I think Red Bull looks a bit more competitive here, which you would expect on this type of circuit, and then I think it is very close between us and Mercedes.”