Sebastian Vettel Rues Being Too Cautious in FP2 in Hungary

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August 3, 2019 2:19 pm

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel was left thoroughly disappointed after he could only muster a lowly 14th in Practice 2 at the Hungaroring. He later confessed that he may have been “too chicken” when dealing with the wet weather.

After a strong FP! session, where he finished 3rd, it was Pierre Gasly in the Red Bull who topped the times for the afternoon session. As expected, Mercedes weren’t too far off, however Ferrari were nowhere to be seen near the top of the times.

Vettel ended up P14 as the session wound up, while teammate Charles Leclerc found himself in P7. In spite of this, session leader, Pierre Gasly is convinced that Ferrari are masking their true pace.

Sebastian Vettel, on the other hand, was more focused on getting information for the car. The 4-time World Champion was not aiming for the fastest lap possible during the weather.

Vettel mused, “Maybe I was too chicken. You know you have a long session ahead of you, so I wasn’t quite sure how much it was raining, because there were quite a few big drops, but the track was absolutely fine.”

“It was the first run, we were also on the hard tyres so a bit slow to come up to [temperature].”

Sebastian Vettel

“The red flag [after Alex Albon’s crash] didn’t help, but all in all it was okay.

“I had plenty of margin; I think in these conditions it’s more important I get the answer for the car than the ultimate lap time.”

Back in Hockenheim, Leclerc was left fuming after he crashed out of the race in the wet conditions. This led to suggestions that the crash adversely affected his pace in the rain. However, the Monegasque driver brushed off the preposterous suggestion after a poor showing in FP2. Instead, he revealed that he was struggling with the balance of his car.

“I was not so down after Germany even though it was a mistake from my side,” Leclerc added.

“[But] overall it has not been a very good day today. We’ve been struggling a lot with the balance. We need to work a lot for tomorrow to try and find a solution, and then hopefully we’ll be closer to the top.”

“On my side I’m not very happy at the moment with balance of the car, so I need to work quite a lot on that. I think [in the] wet I was in a better shape.”

Meanwhile, the Mercedes duo will be eager to banish the nightmare that was the 2019 German Grand Prix and end the first half of the season on a high. In Germany, Lewis Hamilton managed to scrounge two precious points, but teammate Valtteri Bottas crashed out.

Now, for this weekend, all three top teams will be focused, and Mercedes drew first blood by topping FP1. Then, it was Red Bull’s turn with Pierre Gasly in FP2 in the soggy conditions. The question now is, who will top FP3 and more importantly, who will grab pole position? Qualifying in Hungary is crucial as it is difficult to overtake.

Dhruv George

Dhruv George is an author for the Formula One and NASCAR division of EssentiallySports. He is a life-long F1 and MotoGP fan, developing a liking for McLaren and Carlos Sainz Jr, and recently began to follow NASCAR. He graduated from Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai, with a PG Diploma in Journalism and now lives in Trivandrum.

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