2016 Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix: Qualifying Report
A tricky wet-dry qualifying session saw Nico Hulkenberg qualify in ninth place for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix. Teammate Sergio Perez will start the race from P13.
P9 Nico Hülkenberg VJM09-03
Nico: “Being in the top ten is always good, especially in a session with tricky conditions. As a team I think we coped well with so many red flags because it’s important to stay calm and maintain your rhythm. When the rain stopped, the track dried so quickly and by the end of Q2 the sun was shining and the track was almost completely dry. Q3 was a bit difficult: I just didn’t have the balance and I struggled with understeer on my final lap. So from that perspective maybe it would have been better if the track had stayed wet for longer. Ninth place is still a good place to start and I’m sure we can have a strong race from there.”
P13 Sergio Perez VJM09-02
Sergio: “Qualifying in P13 is a very disappointing result. Today we had everything we needed to be in Q3, especially in these conditions. We were among the first to switch to dry tyres, but when it came to the end of the session I wasn’t able to put together a good enough lap to finish in the top ten. I made a mistake in turn five and that cost me more than a second. It’s a shame as I think we had great potential, but it goes to show how difficult it is to get the right lap at the right time. Starting where we are is going to make the race very challenging. A good start will be crucial and we need to choose the right strategy because overtaking here is not easy. Our pace in the dry is good and my target is to bring home some points.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“We come away from today’s qualifying session feeling disappointed. The car has performed well all weekend and we certainly had the speed to get both cars through to Q3. Sergio’s mistake towards the end of Q2 means he will start out of position down in P13 on a track where it’s not very easy to overtake. Nico had a very strong session overall, but struggled with the car when the track had completely dried out. He didn’t have a clean lap and that probably cost him a position or two on the grid. Looking ahead to the race, we were competitive during the long runs in the dry yesterday so our race pace should be good. Strategy options are quite limited, but this place tends to throw up surprises when you least expect them so let’s see what happens tomorrow.”