Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg resume their tantalizing battle for the drivers' world championship title with both the Mercedes drivers looking to seal pole position in the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday. Only one point separates the two drivers at the moment, making the final result at the Hungaroring all the more important.
Hamilton and Rosberg will know the importance of taking pole in qualifying in order to get that victory in Hungary, just to put a bit of daylight between each other, and, at the moment, the German looks better placed after the defending champion spun out in Free Practice 2 on Friday.
While that does not mean Rosberg is going to have it easy in qualifying – Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari all had strong drives in FP2 – the fact that the German goes into Free Practice 3, and qualifying after that, without any hiccups does give him an advantage.
"An impressive day for us, performance-wise," Rosberg told the F1's official website on Friday. "Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean we'll be in quite such a strong position in qualifying, but for now it's very positive.
"I'm feeling great out there and the car is very quick, so a good start to the weekend overall. Now I'm really excited for the rest of the weekend in my awesome Silver Arrow."
Hamilton apologised for crashing out in FP2, but knowing the champion, he is sure to come out all guns blazing in qualifying and the race on Sunday.
"Obviously, not the greatest session for me," Hamilton said. "My apologies to the crew for all the hard work they have ahead to strip the car and get it back together. Fortunately, I got a good feel for it in the few laps that I did have and the pace is clearly there, so hopefully, I can make up for the time lost and come back strongly in qualifying."
Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez put in the ninth and tenth fastest times in Free Practice 2 and the duo will be confident of a top-ten finish in qualifying and another point-laden race from there.
"It's been a fairly standard Friday, with no big surprises," Hulkenberg said after finishing ninth, one place above his Force India teammate, in FP2. "The initial feeling with the car is pretty good. Of course, there are the usual tweaks we have to make, but by looking at both our short and long run pace, we seem to be in good shape."
Where to Watch Live
The qualifying session of the Hungarian GP is scheduled for a 5.30 p.m. IST (2 p.m. CET, 1 p.m. BST, 8 a.m. ET) start. Below is the live streaming and TV information.
|India||Star Sports 4, Star Sports 4HD|
|United Kingdom||Sky Sports 1|
|Middle East and North Africa||Bein Sports Arabia|
|Germany, Italy||Sky Sport|
|India||Star Sports Online and Hotstar|
|US||NBC Sports Online|
|UK||Watch Sky Sports|
|Middle East||BeIN Sport Connect|
|Asia||Fox Sports Online|
|Italy||Sky Go Italy|
|Germany||Sky Go Germany|