George Russell fastest for Mercedes while setting new track record – Testing Report

Testing – Mercedes’ George Russell set the pace in Wednesday’s test session at the Hungaroring.

Following on from Kimi Raikkonen setting the fastest time in the morning session during the final official day of testing in 2018, Mercedes sent their reserve driver George Russell out armed with a brand new set of HyperSofts. He put in a lap time of 1:15.575 to go quickest overall for the full test, as well as setting a new, unofficial, track record at the Hungaroring. This time was less than a tenth quicker than Antonio Giovinazzi’s pace setting time in the Ferrari on Day 1.

As can be expected, it was Ferrari who were the closest challenger to Russell’s HyperSoft lap time. Kimi Raikkonen put in a 1:15.649 right at the end of the session to end the day just 0.074 seconds off the Mercedes on the same tyre. Both teams clocked up the mileage too, with Russell ending the day on 114 laps, and Raikkonen on 131 laps.

Jake Dennis was next up; the Aston Martin Blancpain driver adjusting well to the RB14 to put in a 1:17.0 and finishing 2.5 seconds behind the leading cars. His best time was set on the Soft tyre.

Antonio Giovinazzi, adjusting to a slightly slower car after his day out in the Ferrari on Tuesday, was impressive again as he clocked a 1:17.558 on the Soft tyre and put in 120 laps during the day.

Nikita Mazepin, who caused two red flags during the day with different mechanical troubles, was P5 for Force India and had the lowest lap count with just 50 laps on the board.

Robert Kubica, who proved extremely popular throughout the day with visiting Polish fans, was P6. His best time on the UltraSoft, 1:18.451, was quicker than any lap time put in by a Williams race driver over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. Lando Norris was P7 for McLaren, putting in 73 laps, mere thousandths clear of his usual Formula 2 rival, Renault’s Artem Markelov.

Sean Gelael was the last of the official testers on the board with 1:19.046 for Toro Rosso and 120 laps completed. Pierre Gasly, who took over from his Toro Rosso teammate Brendon Hartley for the afternoon session, was P10 with 75 laps done as he and Hartley spent the day conducting tests on behalf of Pirelli.

With F1’s official test schedule now complete, the sport enters a mandatory shutdown period where all staff members are not permitted to work. Racing resumes at Spa-Francorchamps at the end of August.

Results (Final Classification) – 6pm

  1. George Russell Mercedes 1:15.575 114 Laps
  2. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:15.649 130 Laps
  3. Jake Dennis Red Bull Racing 1:17.012 129 Laps
  4. Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber 1:17.558 120 Laps
  5. Nikita Mazepin Force India 1:17.748 50 Laps
  6. Robert Kubica Williams1:18.451 103 Laps
  7. Lando Norris McLaren 1:18.472 73 Laps
  8. Artem Markelov Renault 1:18.496 108 Laps
  9. Sean Gelael Toro Rosso 1:19.046 120 Laps 
  10. Pierre Gasly Pirelli 1:19.790 75 Laps
  11. Brendon Hartley Pirelli 1:20.221 67 Laps

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Thomas Maher

Co-owner, Chief Editor and a journalist for - Ireland's only accredited F1 & Formula E website.

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