Taking to the Hungarian Grand Prix venue for the first time, Felix and Mücke Motorsport enjoyed a largely trouble-free opening day of testing, running regularly inside the top five while building their understanding of the new technical regulations that come into force in the championship this year.
With the new 2014-spec engines producing an approximate 20 bhp more power than their predecessors, but being significantly heavier, the focus was on optimising weight distribution and finding a baseline set-up for the up-coming campaign.
Felix ended the day fifth fastest overall and as the top Mercedes-powered runner, just over two tenths of a second shy of pace-setter Max Verstappen (the son of former F1 racer Jos). Felix’s Mücke Motorsport team-mates, Lucas Auer and Roy Nissany, wound up seventh and 12th on the timesheets.
The test concludes tomorrow.
“A good start to the season, with a lot of work completed. We’ve focussed mainly on the installation of the new engine, particularly on weight distribution which is going to be an important factor in the early stages of the year. We had some issues with the new paddle shift system, but nothing major and the car generally ran reliably.
“The circuit is good fun, and I definitely enjoyed it. We ran competitively in both sessions, although I set my best lap on very old tyres. We didn’t manage to improve on new rubber towards the end, which was a bit strange, but I think it was mostly down to fitting them a little bit too early. Testing is always testing and it’s difficult to know what programmes other people run, but I’m feeling optimistic and already have some ideas for tomorrow.”