Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were delighted after Ferrari secured their best qualifying results of the 2020 season so far at the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Ferrari drivers endured a nightmare race in Austria last weekend as they clashed on the first lap.
The collision, which Leclerc quickly apologised for causing, led both SF1000s to retire and compounded a tough start to the F1 campaign.
Ferrari have, though, looked stronger in Hungary and Vettel was fastest during a wet Free Practice 3 session on Friday afternoon.
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Conditions at the Hungaroring were better on Saturday, which threatened to play into the hands of Ferrari’s rivals.
However, Vettel and Leclerc managed to qualify in fifth and sixth respectively after making it to Q3 together for the first time this year.
Vettel was pleased by the upturn in fortunes – even if he admitted Ferrari are not yet anywhere close to matching F1 pace-setters Mercedes.
“I think it is much better than the previous weekend,” Vettel said. “For the first time we have both cars in Q3, so we know that Austria didn’t really suit us and we lost a lot of time in the straights, and here there are a lot more corners to make up for it.
“The car felt better balanced as well, so we are much closer compared to the people around us, let’s say Racing Point, Red Bull and even McLaren, so that is positive.
“We need to make sure we keep that up, and now all that matters is to prepare for the race tomorrow. We start on the soft, people ahead of us are on the medium, people behind us on the soft again, so it is a lot of work for us tomorrow, and we will see what we can do.”
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Leclerc, who finished second in the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, had last week been eliminated in Q2.
Like Vettel, the Monegasque said Ferrari can take advantage of the Hungaroring being a particularly windy circuit.
“It feels much better, fifth and sixth,” Leclerc said. “And I think our race pace is a bit better than our quali pace, so hopefully we can score some good points for the team tomorrow.
“This track doesn’t have many straights, and at the moment we are quite quick around the corners, so that is what makes us a bit more competitive this weekend. We have to see if we manage to take off a bit of drag in the car to go quick in the straights.”
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