With his pole position time of 1’16.276, Sebastian Vettel lapped the Hungaroring a whopping 4.5 seconds quicker than Ferrari had managed to do 12 months earlier.
At most races this year Renault has been the team which has made the most progress year-on-year. But at the Hungaroring it’s Ferrari who’ve found the most pace compared to two years ago. That highlights the aerodynamic strength of its SF70-H as well as the fact Mercedes still have an edge on more power-sensitive circuits.
As was also the case in China, Spain and Britain, the lap time improvement from this new generation of Formula One cars is significantly greater at the Hungaroring than it was at other circuits with fewer medium-to-high speed corners.
The cars are 3.6 seconds faster here than they were last year, a larger gain than we’ve seen at any circuit so far besides Shanghai. Compared to 2015 the cars have gained more performance here than anywhere else they’ve visited yet.
Where exactly has all this extra speed come from? “Obviously you’ve got the high speed [turns] four and 11,” explains Vettel.
“I think also the fact that they resurfaced for last year helps, especially in turn five. Eight and nine are less bumpy so you can extract the grip a little bit more.”
“We always want more so it’s good to know and to feel that the cars are fast, certainly faster than they’ve ever. Also in terms of power, I think we’re getting there so it’s quite nice.”
2017 Hungarian Grand Prix
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- 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix team radio transcript
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