Robert Kubica, Renault, Hungaroring, 2017

Kubica covers two race distances while Norris impresses on debut

2017 F1 season

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Two names vied for the most attention during the second and final day of testing at the Hungaroring but neither of them came away with the fastest time.

Robert Kubica’s return to action in a current-specification Formula One car attracted 3,500 fans to watch today’s test at the home of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Lando Norris, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2017
Hungaroring test day two in pictures
The one-time grand prix winner dispelled questions over his fitness by covering 142 laps, equivalent to more than two race distances, in temperatures of up to 38C. He ended the day fourth-quickest with a time set on ultra-soft tyres.

The two Ferrari drivers ended the day ahead of Kubica, split by the other big talking point of the day. McLaren’s Lando Norris also used the ultra-softs, which were not available during last weekend’s race, to set a best of 1’17.385.

This was faster than either of McLaren’s regular drivers managed at any point during the last race weekend. Norris was the only driver from any team to improve on their time from last week.

Sebastian Vettel set the best time of the day during the morning’s track activity before handing over to team mate Kimi Raikkonen. The Toro Rosso drivers also shared their car and completed the top six.

Mercedes junior driver George Russell spent another day at the wheel of the W08. This time he also evaluated a new version of the Halo head protection system which will be introduced next year.

Formula Two driver Luca Ghiotto was kept busy by Williams, logging a mammoth 161 laps in the FW40.

Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelFerrariSF70H1’17.12440
247Lando NorrisMcLarenMCL321’17.3850.26191
37Kimi RaikkonenFerrariSF70H1’17.8420.71860
446Robert KubicaRenaultRS171’18.5721.448142
555Carlos Sainz JnrToro RossoSTR121’18.8501.72668
626Daniil KvyatToro RossoSTR121’19.1161.99254
735Lucas AuerForce IndiaVJM101’19.2422.11849
863George RussellMercedesW081’19.3912.26790
934Nikita MazepinForce IndiaVJM101’19.6922.56848
1015Pierre GaslyRed BullRB131’20.3373.213107
1141Luca GhiottoWilliamsFW401’20.4143.290161
1250Santino FerrucciHaasVF-171’20.9943.870116
1336Nobuharu MatsushitaSauberC361’21.9984.874121

2017 F1 season

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George Russell, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2017
Mercedes tested a revised version of the Halo

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 46 comments on “Kubica covers two race distances while Norris impresses on debut”

    1. Okay it was on Ultrasofts, but Norris going quicker than Alonso and Vandoorne did in qualifying is seriously impressive. Would like to see what his title rivals Gunther and Eriksson could do in F1 as well.

      1. @hugh11 – Very impressive by Lando Norris even if it was on the Ultras.

      2. I don’t really think it is impressive. Its a different tyre and different day. Alonso did a 1:17.5 and Vandoorne did 1:17.8. Half a second (than Stoff) on a tyre that’s supposed to be half a second faster or more seems about par for the course.

        1. I’d say the gap between ultras and supers would be about 3/4 of a second, so he’d be 1/4 of a second behind Stoffel after his first day in the car. Which is incredible, if you ask me.
          Also, you say it’s not that impressive that by your calculations he’s on par with Stoffel, without having driven the car before today. Not sure how you got to the idea that it isn’t impressive…

          1. I’ll admit I have no idea who he is or what formula he drives currently but he did 91 laps and probably countless more in a simulator. After 91 laps any racing driver should be able to hit his maximum. Not knowing what the other teams were running (quali sim, long runs, etc) and seeing how hes the fastest rookie I’ll give him props for that but I still don’t think its as impressive as it seems. Agree to disagree.

            1. Haha wriggle wriggle. Come on, Lando is impressive be honest..

            2. A 17 yr old running in an F1 car for the first time ever. Currently driving in F3, it might be worth your while to spend time following or at least tracking up and coming drivers in the feeder formulas before declaring and attempting to justify opinions!

            3. @thejaredhuang
              You follow Motorsport and don’t know who Norris is ? Naughty. ;-)

        2. And you say that’s not impressive for a 17 year old?

        3. Agree. The track was also probably 1s faster than the race weekend.
          We don’t know if they used the same spec either. It was for sure a glory run from McLaren.
          Hard to say anything regarding the tests as the lap times more or less tells us nothing as we don’t know spec, what they actually are testing, etc.

      3. Guybrush Threepwood
        3rd August 2017, 6:59

        You can’t compare these test sessions. Remember when Ricciardo was a second quicker than Vettel during the 2010 (?) testing in Abu Dhabi? And that was like for like, same tyres etc. Track evolution plays a huge part.

    2. Delighted for Kubica, did what he needed to do with aplomb, apart from whacking the garage wall heading out for his first run! Fitness not an issue at all.

      Norris looks seriously quick, good to see McLaren back closer to the top of the timesheets.

    3. Side note, Kubica 1:18.5 is 1 tenth off of Jolyon’s 1:18.4 in Q2.

      1. Oops, didn’t realize he was on Ultras too, same feeling as above post now.

      2. Kubica’s time was on ultra’s too.

        1. Jolyon’s wasnt though haha

          1. Gavin Campbell
            3rd August 2017, 8:38

            Yes but it was baking hot during both days of the test which will reduce the grip – hence why only Norris went faster.

    4. The Robert Kubica news just keeps getting better. Going two race distances and very decent lap times in the 2017 Renault should erase any doubts. He is F1 race ready. Now all he needs is the race seat.

      I have hoped this day would come. One can only imagine the amount of physical therapy and intensive training that went into his efforts to accomplish this great feat.

      1. digitalrurouni
        2nd August 2017, 18:55

        I for one am convinced he is Palmer’s replacement for 2018

      2. Handling the steering wheel settings is a mammoth task for Robert, this track is very busy it’s a great test and I think that’s where he’s not happy, the stamina is surely okay, if that wasn’t the case he wouldn’t have run that many laps.

    5. Norris is The Real Deal I think. He was mighty in the New Zealand winter series a few years back and last year in Formula Renault. He seems to be going well this year too apart from his starts! He deserves to move on up the ‘ladder’.

    6. With the likes of Verstappen, Norris, Leclerc and Ocon, the future of F1 in the post Hamilton/Vettel era seems to be in very safe hands indeed!

      1. the difference a year makes. Not so long ago everybody were sure that Wehrlein was the next big thing and nowadays nobody remembers him. The curse of the Sauber seats. Ask Heidfeld

        1. Kubica drove for Sauber as have Räikkönen and Massa…

          As for Wehrlein: Lap 66 of the Hungarian GP: Vettel – 1.21.454, Alonso – 1.21.730, Ericsson – 1.21.752. Wehrlein’s fastest race lap was 1.721 seconds slower than his team mate’s. There’s a reason that “the next big thing”, be he German or Brazilian, fails to impress at Sauber that’s not down to the car being the slowest in the field this year.

          1. Vettel also started his F1 career at Sauber.

      2. Maybe right. I think Kimi, Hulkenberg, Massa and Alonso are all nearing their sell-by dates. F1 needs to move on.

        1. @nickwyatt, that would be the same Alonso who is currently demolishing Vandoorne – one of those drivers who, just a few short months ago, was being spoken of just as highly, if not even more so, than the likes of Leclerc or Norris?

          1. @anon. Yes, sorry to be sacrilegious. But I am famous for taking pot-shots at sacred cows.
            Alonso seems to have the ability to make poor career decisions almost every time. And seems to depart teams leaving a bitter taste behind him. If I was a team principal, not sure if I would want him in my team. He’s also 36 years old; two more F1 seasons absolute max.
            Massa. Williams were right to retire him last year.
            Hulkenburg. Journeyman. Been in F1 since 2010 and scored three 4th places as F1 career highlights. Now 30 years old, time to move over.
            Kimi. Beloved sour puss! Now 37 years old and playing a number-two role to the Finger-Boy. Not going to get any better from here, is it? Next year should be his last year.
            And it’s not just the ‘senior’ drivers I’d suggest for retirement. Stroll, Ericson, Kvyat and probably Werhlein should be thoroughly performance reviewed.
            The problem is that there are only twenty seats available and drivers really do have to compete pretty well instantly they take their places. And up-and-coming drivers need the current occupants of some of those seats to move over and make room. I think it would be desperately disappointing if one of the senior drivers staying put for another year or two stopped someone like Leclerc or Gasley from trying to prove themselves.

            1. You spared Palmer???

            2. @Anthony. No, I think he’s gone already!

            3. @nickwyatt. Hulk may not be championship material but he is an almost guaranteed points getter in quite often inferior machinery. Such attributes are highly valued in the lower orders of F1, but I think ‘journeyman’ is quite fair.

            4. @baron. Yes, he could almost be described as a ‘safe pair of hands’. Not too exciting or inspiring, let alone outstanding, but a driver who will get the job done. But now that it’s obvious that he’s never going to set the world alight, I think it’s time he made way for a newer talent who might just be the next real star.

          1. Massa aye but the others? No way!

        2. Doesn’t matter what Lando was running, sure the track has rubbered in significantly, sure he was running softer tyres yet to improve on a time in testing is rare as mentioned above, he has the confidence to become an f1 driver.

    7. wha I will like to see is McLaren hiring Lewis back in 2019, pair him with Lando Norris and throw a 2007 themed party in the car launch

    8. Neil (@neilosjames)
      3rd August 2017, 0:24

      Not seen Norris out of a car for a while, is he still really small? If so, I bet the McLaren ballast guy was the happiest man in the pit lane!

    9. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      3rd August 2017, 0:49

      I really hope more teams join in 2020 or before, because there is not enough room for new talent.

      1. I think that one more team should do the trick.

    10. Lando is faster than you.

      1. Yes, but can he make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs?

        1. Hahah, nice one !

    11. The kid appears to be genuinely fast, his dad’s money notwithstanding. Let’s hope he doesn’t turn into another Jenson Button – overrated and worshipped by legions of Brit fans because he’s the Great White British Hope…not!

    12. As always people are getting in some kind of mass hype mood regarding f1 drivers.
      This year is has been Crashiovinazzi, Kubica and now Norris.
      Regarding Norris time the track was 1s faster and he was on US. That is almost 2s, we also don’t know the spec of the car. Not that impressive to be honest.

      1. @orchide ‘not that impressive’ for a 17 yr old who has not driven more than an F3 car (short of the performance level of a GP3 car), whatever. It’s the relative performance to those in the test that matters here not vs the race weekend.

        1. @ju88sy Huh? How can you compare the performance of the others in the test? Do you know if they made qualifying runs etc.

          In F3 I rate Joel Eriksson as a better driver than Norris. Just look at the last weekend in Spa. His race pace is outstanding.

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