Valtteri Bottas Fastest In Hungary’s ‘Finnish Sauna’

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, Friday - Valtteri Bottas (image courtesy Mercedes-AMG Petronas)

Valtteri Bottas was fastest in FP2, in conditions he described as a ‘Finnish sauna’ as temperatures hit 60 degrees in the cockpit of his Mercedes.

Bottas’ teammate Lewis Hamilton finished the second session in P2, just 0.027 seconds behind the Finn.

Valtteri Bottas Overcomes Tricky Conditions

As track temperatures reached over 60 degrees at the Hungaroring, Valtteri Bottas was able to handle overheating tyres and the styling conditions to post the fastest time in FP2, as he looks to hit the mid-season break on a high note.

‘It felt like being in a Finnish sauna today, especially when you stop mid-runs – it’s way more than 60 degrees in the cockpit! It makes it tricky with the tyres overheating but honestly, it didn’t feel too bad – a promising start. Recently we’ve been making improvements and I don’t think we’re in too bad a place but it’s only Practice, you never know what teams are holding back. In FP1 we had work to do with the balance but we made changes quickly and were in better shape for FP2, and no doubt there’s still more to come. We’ll be in on the fight for pole tomorrow and that’s hugely motivating,’ said Bottas.

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, Friday - Valtteri Bottas (image courtesy Mercedes-AMG Petronas)
2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, Friday – Valtteri Bottas (image courtesy Mercedes-AMG Petronas)

Extreme Weight Loss For Lewis Hamilton

As the temperature soared, Lewis Hamilton spoke of losing around 3kg across the day in trying conditions.

‘It was roasting today, I’ve probably lost 3kg out there and the tyres were melting! To see Valtteri and I at the top of the timesheets this afternoon is pleasing, it’s great for the team and we’ll only improve on that. We have some work to do tonight to see how we can finesse the car some more. You can’t plan for the rain, it’s so unpredictable so you just try and get the car in the best place, understand the tyres, and set the car up for a dry Qualifying and if it rains, it rains. I’m optimistic because I definitely think we can improve the car balance-wise and if we can do that, we should be there ready to fight tomorrow and for the race on Sunday,’ added Hamilton.

Mercedes Making Progress

After a slower than desired start to the weekend, the team came to grips with the heat and pushed their way up the timesheets, pleasing Andrew Shovlin.

‘We got off to a fairly difficult start on the Hard tyre this morning as the grip and balance just weren’t there. As the day went on we seemed to improve in terms of the timesheets, although we’re still finding the balance quite tricky. It may be that it’s the same for everyone, the track is at 60°C after all and the tyres are getting really hot which is making the long runs quite difficult. Overall, it is encouraging to see both cars at the top of the timesheets but with a risk of rain it may be a very difficult challenge tomorrow so we cannot take anything for granted,’ concluded Shovlin.

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