BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Valtteri Bottas likened the sweltering heat in his Formula One car to taking a sauna back home in Finland after completing the fastest second practice ahead of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Friday.
Championship leader Max Verstappen was third, having led the two Mercedes in the first practice.
Bottas was a narrow .027 seconds ahead of Hamilton and .298 clear of Verstappen, who leads Hamilton by eight points overall after 10 races.
Mid-afternoon air temperatures reached 36 Celsius (97 F) at a Hungaroring circuit drenched in sunlight. With a racing suit and helmet on, and with heat rebounding off the track, it felt far hotter.
“It felt like being in a Finnish sauna, it’s way more than 60 degrees (140 F) in the cockpit,” Bottas said. “It makes it tricky with the tires overheating.”
The heat might even have got to Hamilton, with the seven-time world champion making a rare mistake when he misjudged a turn and went off track.
“It was roasting today, I’ve probably lost three kilos (seven pounds) out there and the tires were melting,” he said. “To see Valtteri and I at the top of the timesheets is pleasing.”
Verstappen, who had some issues with the front wing late on, had some radio exchanges with his team during a tricky afternoon session.