Pierre crossed the finish line in 6th place at the Hungaroring on Sunday. In Budapest, the Frenchman delivered a solid performance despite a poor start that saw him lose several positions on the opening lap.
The first day of the Hungarian Grand Prix took place in changing weather and track conditions, but the alternating rain and sunny spells did not disturb Pierre who completed his program by recording the 4th best time in FP1 followed by the fastest time in FP2 on Friday.
The evolution of the Hungaroring circuit, dusty at first, then wet and slippery, then dry, made it challenging to get to grips with the track, but Pierre was satisfied with the performance of his car. The following day, in steady-state conditions, the French driver was unable to find the same level of grip. Therefore, he didn’t manage to elicit the best from the RB15 on the tight and twisty Hungaroring circuit, a place where mechanical grip from the Pirelli tyres count just as much as the excellent aerodynamic grip from his car.
“On Friday, dry and wet, the car was working well and it was promising even though I knew that we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions. On Saturday, I struggled and was unable to find any grip. I didn’t manage to complete a clear lap otherwise maybe I could have fought with the Ferrari for 4th place on the grid. I was disappointed, but I was hoping to do better in the race, even though without completing a lot of long runs, we didn’t know exactly what to expect”.
Pierre lost three places in the first meters of the race and found himself behind a group of slower cars, making him lose precious time. He recovered two places, thanks to a good pit stop strategy and a keen pass on Hülkenberg shortly before the halfway point of the race. He then made his way onto the gearbox of Sainz’s McLaren and put him under pressure for the next 30 laps without finding an opportunity to pass on a circuit where overtaking is rare.
“The race got off to a bad start when I lost a lot of places. I tried to make my way back up, but I was unable to find any grip. Over the course of a lap, the small losses here and there all add up and it's frustrating when you know you can do much better. The team was very efficient at the pit stop and I was able to regain places. Sainz defended well and I was unable to pass him. It is never easy to overtake at the Hungaroring but I did and, in the end, I managed to finish in 6th place. We scored important points, but my goal was to do much better. Congratulations to the team and Max for pole position and 2nd place. The potential is there, but I have to find a way to exploit it to the best of my ability so I can secure even bigger points”.
FP1: 4th, 1:17.682, 25 laps.
FP2: 1st, 1:17.854, 16 laps.
FP3: 6th, 1:16.684, 19 laps.
Qualifying: 6th, 1:15.450
Race: 6th, 8 points.
1 pit stop for a total of 22.104 seconds in the pitlane
1st-28th lap: Medium tyres
29th-70th lap: Hard tyres
Championship: 6th, 63 points