Valtteri Bottas compared the cockpit of his Mercedes F1 car to a Finnish sauna after practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Friday as track temperatures rose beyond 60 degrees at the Hungaroring.
Bottas set the fastest time in the second practice session despite the intensity of the cockpit temperatures, as his Mercedes appeared surprisingly strong in the blistering sunshine.
Bottas said: “Honestly, it is like being in a Finnish sauna. That is a good comparison, especially you are stopping mid-runs, you get the heat, and then it really is way more than 60 or 70 degrees in the cockpit.
“It’s sweaty, but out on track at least you get a bit of air. It makes it quite tricky with the tyres, obviously, overheating, but honestly, it didn’t look or feel too bad compared to the others, so I don’t think it’s a bad start for us.”
Bottas - Hard to predict
Bottas led team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.027secs as the pair claimed the top two times in the second session, with Max Verstappen almost three tenths down in the leading Red Bull.
The trio were also tightly bunched in the first session, where Verstappen led the way with Bottas just 0.061 seconds behind, teeing up what could be an exciting qualifying session on Saturday.
Bottas added: “I think lately we have been making improvements. When it’s hot it’s not so bad, and today is the proof.
"I don’t think we are in a bad place, but you never see all the cards from the other teams on Friday.
“In practice one, with the balance, we had quite a lot of work to do but we quickly reacted and it started to feel quite okay.
"There is more to come and it is good to see that most likely we are going to be in the fight for pole tomorrow.”
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