Sebastian Vettel showed signs of a return to form in Hungary by challenging for the pole position and eventually taking second place behind Nico Rosberg.
He was helped by the absence of Lewis Hamilton, but he made it clear that he was happier with the car than at any point this year.
“I think probably the nature of the track suits us a bit more – less straights,” said the German. “I think historically we’ve always had a competitive car around here. It seems that we are a little bit closer but obviously Nico’s final lap was very good so the gap was again quite big – bigger than we were hoping for, because if we get everything perfect and Nico maybe has a bit of a wobble, we can have a crack, but it didn’t happen. They did a god job. Obviously Q3 was a mixed bag, it could have been anything, so therefore with the more dry conditions at the end to get second was the optimum.
Asked if he could take the fight to Mercedes in the race he said: “It depends. I think we are here to fight, we want to do that. If it rains, I think we definitely have a better chance than in normal, standard dry conditions but even then, I think we were closer this weekend. Long run pace, yeah, looked a lot better on Friday compared to them.
“Obviously it’s hard to judge how much they were sandbagging or running different modes on Friday. So, it should be closer than in the last couple of races, definitely. I think we can have a good fight with the Williams, which seems to be out of reach the last couple of races.”