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pic 22/07/16 Norman Nato and Jordan King qualify in the top ten for Racing Engineering at the Hungaroring.

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After the cool weather at Silverstone it was much warmer at the Hungaroring with air and track temperatures of 25° and 43° respectively as the 45-minute Free Practice got underway and the earlier rain that had affected the F1 practice had gone and the track was now dry. Norman Nato and Jordan King, the two Racing Engineering drivers, were quickly out of the pits and on to the track and, like all the other cars, they were using the Pirelli P Zero Orange hard compound tyres as they began to work on the set-up of their cars for both this afternoon’s Qualifying and the races held on Saturday and Sunday.

Jordan was the first driver to set a quick time with a lap of 1:29.241s to go 2nd fastest and then Norman went a little faster on 1:29.233s to move up to 3rd fastest. With ten minutes of the session gone Jordan improved to 1:28.453s to again lie 2nd but then Norman reduced his time to 1:28.106s to move up to 2nd and on his next lap he improved further to1:27.951s. After fifteen minutes of the session both of the Racing Engineering cars returned to the pits for some set-up changes.

With twenty-five minutes of the session still to go Jordan returned to the track and five minutes later Norman joined him. After a few laps Jordan returned to the pits for some further adjustments and was back on track with ten minutes still remaining but with both drivers concentrating on their race set-ups they did not improve on their earlier times.

Temperatures in the afternoon for qualifying were almost identical to those in the morning with air and track temperatures of 27° and 43° respectively and now all the cars were using the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft compound tyres.

Jordan’s first flying lap was a 1:26.940s with Norman close behind on 1:27.229s and both men improved by a few tenths on their next fast laps leaving both men in the top eight after ten minutes.

As the session reached the half-way point both of the Racing Engineering cars had returned to pits for some final adjustments and a new set of Pirelli soft compound tyres. With ten minutes of the session left both Norman and Jordan were back on the track and Norman immediately improved to 6th with a lap of 1:26.633s and Jordan also reduced his time to 1:26.709s, and, with just over a minute to go, Jordan moved up to 9th on 1:26.667s and Norman was up to 5th with a time of 1:26.521s.

Tomorrow’s Feature Race will see Norman start from the third row of the grid in 5th position with Jordan on the fifth row in 9th. Both men will be looking to move up in the race and, given the race pace they have shown this season, they will be aiming for a podium finish.
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Team Comments:

Sebastien Viger, Team Engineer: “First of all congratulations to Gasly, who dominated free practice as well as qualifying. The Hungaroring is always a bit tricky for us, so we worked quite a bit on preparing for this specific venue. Free practice was about set up work and data collection for us. We saw a very tight qualifying session today, where third is separated from 10th by only 25 one hundredths of a second. It’s a hard track for drivers to put all the sectors together and both drivers did a solid job but, ultimately, we were missing just a little bit to be higher up. As it’s hard to overtake here, tomorrow will be about a good start and good pace.”

Norman Nato: “Free practice was quite OK. I made a mistake on my fastest lap which cost me some tenths as otherwise I would have finished in P2. We switched to race sim afterwards in order to prepare for the races, but it was generally a positive free practice. I was quite far off in qualifying on my first run due to a technical issue, but we fixed it for the second run which I finished in P5 which is a bit disappointing as I think we had the pace for P2. Tonight we will analyse the free practice sim to prepare for race 1.”

Jordan King:: “In free practice we did everything we wanted to, we managed to do some qualifying laps and a short race run. Qualifying was actually quite positive but the time sheets don’t really show our potential, I feel the pace is there. Obviously going into the race is a lot different so I am looking to make some good progress up the field as I know our pace is better than where we start.”
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