Afternoon all, Spy here, 98 per cent perspiration, 2 per cent sandals. It’s usually hot at the Hungaroring, but this year was crazy: Sepang without the banana plantations.
The only place hotter than the Hungaroring last week was Milton Keynes – which is presumably being mistaken for the surface of the sun. That’s the strangest thing Spy’s ever heard – and Spy’s heard Nico Rosberg doing karaoke.
With all of this general hotness, it seems unreasonable that our weekend was such a damp squib. That wasn’t exactly the race we were hoping for. Max made a good start but, like Daniel seven days ago, he had to pull over when his power unit gave up the ghost. Unlike Daniel, who prefers to do his ranting in private, Max is quite the Sweary Mary. We should probably wash his mouth out with soap – but he wasn’t saying anything that wasn't already coming out of the garage.
If anything, Daniel’s great race compounded the misery. You can’t overtake at the Hungaroring but, after getting clipped at the start and dropping back to P16, Daniel hit the afterburners, ducking and weaving his way up to P4, grabbing that last position on the final lap. That was a happy moment – but it did leave us wondering what might have been possible for Max, but also what might have been possible if we hadn’t had our worst qualifying performance of the year.
Qualifying is always the most tense part of the weekend – but wet qualifying ratchets that up a couple of notches and wet/dry qualifying couldn’t be more twitchy if someone accidentally let loose a sack of snakes* in the garage. In these conditions, we’re usually the predators looking to steal places off other people – but the Hungaroring is our track, and so, like Monaco and Singapore, we’re really looking for a regulation session with no alarms, no surprises and absolutely no rain.
That’s not how it worked out. Daniel was unlucky in Q2. The track was at its best on the first lap, but Daniel suffered the embuggerance of a spinning Williams in front of him. After that the rain got worse and nobody managed to improve – except Daniel, who managed to squeeze out a better time in what might just be the best lap he’s ever done – but for absolutely no reward. Given that Max takes to water like an otter**, we’re not sure why he wasn’t higher than the third row.
But anyway, that’s done. Five races in six weeks has been pretty extreme, and everyone’s looking forward to going home, pottering about the factory for a few days, and then taking an officially-mandated two weeks off. Half the crew are staying in Hungary for the test on Tuesday and Wednesday – but Spy leaves that to the younger*** and more enthusiastic members of the team.
*filled with a non-specific number of snakes, so we didn’t know how many or if we got them all.
**an otter with a superlicence, obviously.