Hungarian Grand Prix – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has gone quickest in first practice at Budapest’s Hungaroring, pipping the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.
Having recovered from illness that affected Lewis Hamilton throughout the entirety of the German Grand Prix weekend, the reigning Champion underlined his recuperation by going quickest in opening practice at the Hungaroring. The Mercedes driver used the Soft tyres to set a 1:17.233, putting that time in relatively early in the session as light rain hit the track halfway through the session.
Max Verstappen, winner of the race at Hockenheim five days ago, finished P2 in his Red Bull. His best time, 1:17.398 set on Softs, was 0.165 behind Hamilton and just 0.001 clear of Sebastian Vettel. The Ferrari driver also used the Softs for his best time, set late in the session after the rain shower.
Having threatened rain throughout the morning, a light shower hit the track about thirty minutes into the session. This was just heavy enough to tempt several drivers out on track on the Intermediate tyres for some exploration, but essentially just meant the track was very quiet for the middle half hour of the session and that there was little movement on the timing screens afterwards.
Behind Vettel, Pierre Gasly indicated strong early pace for Red Bull by placing P4 and 0.3 behind the Ferrari. Kevin Magnussen finished P5 for Haas, running the latest updated specification of the VF19. Charles Leclerc was P6 for Ferrari, with Nico Hulkenberg P7 for Renault.
Lando Norris was P8 for McLaren, less than 0.2 clear of Carlos Sainz in the sister MCL34. Sainz was forced out of the car early as his car developed a water pressure issue in the last quarter of an hour. Kimi Raikkonen, trialing new aero parts on his Alfa Romeo, finished P10 in practice.
Outside the top ten, Daniel Ricciardo finished P11 for Renault and 1.6 seconds from the front, while Romain Grosjean was P12 – the French driver running an older specification Haas as the team attempt to compare the two setups between himself and Magnussen. Daniil Kvyat, a podium finisher last Sunday, finished P13 and quarter of a second ahead of teammate Alex Albon in P14.
Sergio Perez was P15 for Racing Point, Antonio Giovinazzi P16 in the second Alfa Romeo and George Russell P17 for Williams.
Rounding out the order was Racing Point’s Lance Stroll, the Williams of Robert Kubica and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas. The Finn only managed to get installation laps done early in the session before an engine misfire put him back in the garage. Mercedes chose to swap power units in his car as a result of the issue – Bottas will run a different engine from his engine pool from now on. He won’t get a penalty for this.
FP2 follows in two hours time.
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