Valtteri Bottas says Mercedes has made clear progress with the setup of its car in the wet despite a disjointed day of Friday practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
FP1 took place in dry conditions but Bottas missed the first session due to a power unit change after reporting a misfire, only returning to action in FP2. With rain hitting on Friday afternoon, Bottas says it was a good opportunity to analyze how Mercedes can improve after a difficult wet race in Germany and was optimistic about the progress made.
“I think the setup of the car was a lot better here,” Bottas said. “All I can say is that it felt a lot better, a lot more grip. In general, the balance was better and to do the lap times we did, at the end, compared to the other cars, felt quite easy.
“I still got a few laps. There’s quite a lot of data from Lewis (Hamilton) I can look through and lots to learn to do, even though I didn’t have a lot of running, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Explaining the issue he suffered at the start of Frida’s running, Bottas says there was a clear problem with his power unit that meant there was no opportunity to take advantage of the FP1 conditions.
“During the first timed lap I had an issue with the engine that lost power and then there was a misfire. Then it eventually went into safe mode and they couldn’t find the issue immediately.
“That’s why we decided to swap the power unit for FP2 in hope for more laps, but with the weather conditions we didn’t get that many — three proper timed laps in the dry and a couple in the wet, in the end. So, not many laps today. It’s fine — at least in the time I was in the car it was all good.
“We got a few laps at the beginning on the dry tire, but even then there was a small drizzle. But I got a feel for what the car is doing, a feel for the things we need to do for tomorrow.”
Bottas finished the second session in fourth place, one position behind teammate Hamilton and 0.3s off the fastest time.