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    INSIGHT: Hungarian Grand Prix: Your Questions Answered Technical Director James Al...

Technical Director James Allison answers your questions about the Hungarian GP...

Nathan (@nathan_constable44) asked us on Instagram:

-  Did you only start on UltraSofts to make sure that you were fast off the start? And how did Lewis make them last so long?

James Allison: "Well, we were on the UltraSofts at the start of the race to make a good start, we had a free choice because of yesterday's weather conditions, we could've gone Soft, we could've gone UltraSoft.

"In part, it was to get a good start but also because most of our strategic simulations showed that that was the best way to ensure we had a good result at the end of the race.

"How did we make them last as long as we did, or how did Lewis do that? It was a mixture of two things, first of all we have got a car that looks after its tyres quite well and was set up to look after those tyres.

"But also, we have a driver with very delicate feet who is able to make sure he didn't break traction, was looking after the tyres, was controlling their temperatures and therefore extending their life as far as possible, while also being pretty quick."

Team Hamilton (@AORHAMILTON) tweeted us asking:

-  If Vettel had jumped Valtteri, would he have caught Lewis, and would he have been able to overtake on much quicker fresh UltraSofts?

JA: "I don't think he would've been able to, is my answer. The reason for that is, if you look at what happened when Vettel came out behind Valtteri, he didn't jump him, when he came out behind Valtteri, Vettel was on brand, brand new UltraSofts at that stage and Valtteri was on quite well used Softs.

"He was on 20-lap or so old Softs at the time. He presented no threat at all to Valtteri, until Valtteri got up somewhere near 50 laps old on his Soft tyres.

"So, extremely difficult to see how after he'd came out of the pits and spent 20 laps or so catching Lewis, had he been able to, that he would've had anything like the sort of performance differential needed to overtake Lewis later in the race."

Ben (@ben.featherstone) on Instagram queried:

-  Did you consider pitting Lewis under the second VSC for another set of Ultras so that he could better defend from Vettel if he got past Valtteri or was the gap not big enough?

JA: "Well, the gap was big enough and we did consider it, we continually consider what to do, were there to be a Safety Car or a Virtual Safety Car.

"But, we concluded that his threat from behind was not sufficient even on his used rubber to justify such a move, and so we would not have done it even though the gap was big enough to allow it."

James Harman on Facebook asked:

-  Would it have helped Valtteri at all to pit onto new UltraSofts at the VSC?

JA: "It would've done, there is no doubt about that, if... it would've done if the Virtual Safety Car was guaranteed to have lasted long enough for us to make the stop. At the time we were holding what felt like a risky second place, where we thought we might be able to get to the end but we weren't certain and we felt that the likely worst case scenario was that we'd come home fourth.

"So, we might well have considered trading that risky second place for a nailed-on third, because we had the space to do it and get out ahead of Raikkonen. We might've considered it if we could be confident that the Virtual Safety Car would've lasted long enough for us to complete the change.

"Trouble was, the car that had brought out the Virtual Safety Car was stopped right by a gap in the barriers and it was only going to take a matter of seconds for the marshals to pull that car off the track and then the Virtual Safety Car would've ended.

"It would've been bad for us to find ourselves in the no-mans land where we had started a Virtual Safety Car stop but it ended up being halfway between a full stop and a VSC stop, because of the Virtual Safety Car ending halfway through.

"So, in the end we decided to cling on for our risky second place strategy, thinking worst case we would finish fourth.

"As it happened, the second place didn't work out and it ended up a little worse for Valtteri and for us as a result of those collisions meaning in the final analysis he dropped down to fifth place, behind Ricciardo. But, we did consider it and that's why we didn't do it."

Ben Belcher (@BenBelcher_) asked us on Twitter:

-  In hindsight, could Valtteri have stayed out longer before covering Kimi's stop as he had a decent gap at the time and it would've given him better tyres at the end of the race?

JA: "In hindsight, yes, we could've done. Whether or not we could've stayed out long enough to have made a difference is another question altogether. Kimi was a few seconds behind Valtteri when he made his first stop of the day so we had a small amount of breathing space.

"We didn't have to react the lap later and then we had a bit more breathing space by the fact that Kimi's pit stop was actually quite slow. So, although we did choose to react quite quickly we contemplated for a little while pushing out another couple of laps and making it more of a tight thing to Kimi to prevent him undercutting us.

"We contemplated it but in the end, we rejected it, because we thought well we too might have a bad pit stop and what we definitely don't want to do is lose the position to Kimi by pushing our luck too far. Arguably we were a little conservative, arguably we could've had a couple more laps on that first stint and then as a result of that been a little bit less exposed at the end of the race.

"But, the reality is that we lost the rubber with about six or seven laps to go and those two laps wouldn't have made any difference. The other thing to consider is one of the reasons Valtteri was able to be out in front of Sebastian at that crucial phase in the race where Sebastian made his own stop is that he'd had a couple more laps racing on the fresher rubber that he then changed to, that meant he was that much further up the road.

"It would've been probably very unlikely that we would've been able to be ahead of Vettel when Vettel made his stop had we used those two extra laps earlier in the race. So, it's always a swings and roundabouts thing and never quite as obvious as it looks at first glance."

Carl Goodwin commented on Facebook asking:

-  Does everyone back at the factory get a summer break too or do you have to keep on working?

JA: "Most of us thankfully do get a holiday. There are a few dozen people here who keep working all the way through the summer break because the rules permit that.

"We are allowed to do maintenance work, we are allowed to do infrastructure upgrades and certain parts of the company like the commercial departments and legal departments are allowed to keep working and so they do.

"But, the large majority of the team, both the travelling part of the team and the factory part of the team, are taking a very, very well-earned and much looked forward to break before we come back to hit it all again in Spa in a few weeks' time."

Jody Barton on Facebook queried:

-  Where do you think your relative strengths and weaknesses are to Ferrari at the moment?

JA: "Well, it is a little tough to say because it tends to vary a little bit track to track, race to race and as the development race as ebbed and flowed through the season. But, there are a few patterns that are relatively constant.

"Certainly for a few races now we have been missing just a few horsepower to a Ferrari that has had a very, very impressive rate of development through the year. We are probably on average better than Ferrari through the corners at most tracks, sometimes they take a bit from us in the low-speed, but medium and high-speed we normally prosper relative to them.

"I would say they have tended to be a wee bit stronger than us when it's at tracks that are strongly rear limited, but we are talking small margins, and us the opposite.

"We have tended to have better pit stops they have tended to have better starts although we appear to have put that right in recent races with a lot of work from the good guys in the Controls department here in the factory.

"These are all small, small margins which is why the championship has yo-yoed one way and the other. It's quite interesting to note that in the 12 races we have had so far, only five of them have actually been won by the car that most people would agree was the quickest on that weekend.

"Seven of them have been won against the head, three of them we have stolen, two of them Ferrari have stolen and two Red Bull have had.

"So, it has been a very, very intriguing year where these very small differences, maybe an error, maybe a moment of particular genius or just sheer good fortune or ill fortune is what is determining who comes home smiling at the end of the race.

"So, none of it is set in stone, the development race over the remainder of the season, who stays strong, who doesn't make mistakes, who can keep their chin up the longest and all the clichés you want to roll out, that is actually what is going to determine this utterly compelling and brilliant year.

"None of us know, none of our opposition know who it is going to favour. That is what makes it so exciting, frightening too but it is what makes us look forward to this second part of the year, to see whether it can be us that is standing at the end of the year with smiles on our face knowing that we did a really good job in a season that put us to the test like no other."

11:59

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