Pierre Gasly played down setting the fastest time in second practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix, but remains encouraged by Red Bull’s overall pace.
The early running in FP2 took place on slick tires and Gasly set his time on the softs, going 0.055s quicker than team-mate Max Verstappen. The caveat was that Verstappen used mediums and Lewis Hamilton was close behind in third place on hard tires, and Gasly said he was happier with how the car felt in changing conditions than he was with the order on the timesheets.
“I think the main thing for us is that FP1 was strong, and FP2 was strong also,” Gasly said. “It was strong for us on the dry and the wet. So far I am happy with the car on the few laps we did, so let’s see what we can fight for tomorrow.
“Tomorrow could be very unpredictable, like today. The weather seems [like it will be] be similar to today, so it could be really tricky. So it was good to get the laps in this afternoon.”
Gasly expects the top three teams to remain closely matched throughout the weekend following a dry FP1 that ended with three different teams occupying the first three positions.
“I think Mercedes is really fast in FP1 and also in FP2,” he said. “Ferrari, I don’t really think they showed their true pace, but we know they are going to be there in qualifying. I think it’s going to be pretty tight tomorrow, but with the conditions the same and quite unpredictable, then there’s not too much to think about now. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
Verstappen twice in the opening sessions but still ended up in second place on both occasions, and says he was happy with the work he did on Friday.
“We tried a few things on the car,” Verstappen said. “Initially I was happy in FP1. We tried a few things, which I was not so happy about, so I was just having a really strong front-end and losing the rear.
“I think it’s important to test those things because then in FP2 my car was again in a nice balance, so we seem to be competitive. I still expect Mercedes to be a little bit ahead of us, but I think tomorrow will be an interesting day.”