Leclerc tops first day of testing at Hungaroring

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F1 Test, Hungary, Hungaroringhu

FIA Formula 2 Championship leader Charles Leclerc edged McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne to top the timesheet on day one of the final in-season test of the 2017 Formula One campaign. Ferrari Academy driver Leclerc set a time of 1:17.746 in the closing moments of the session to beat Vandoorne’s best time by 0.088s.

However, while the McLaren driver used purple-banded ultrasoft tyres to set his personal best, Leclerc’s P1 time came on soft compound Pirelli rubber.

Vandoorne had run quicker than the Ferrari driver in the morning session but the afternoon was not so kind, as he spent a long period in the garage as his team encountered technical woes. He managed to return to the track late in the session to record a time of 1:17.834. The team later revealed a "not so serious" fuel leak in the engine area was at the cause of the outage.

Valtteri Bottas was third for Mercedes, just under a second off Leclerc’s pace. Carrying out tyre testing duties for Pirelli, the Finn put in a marathon shift in hot conditions to log the day’s largest lap total, with 155 laps on the board by the end of running.

Mercedes also gave GP3 racer George Russell an F1 test debut and the Briton seized the opportunity, finishing in fourth place with a time of 1:19.231. The 19-year-old also recorded 119 laps of the tight and twisting Hungaroring circuit.

With Felipe Massa withdrawing from the test due to the illness that prevented him from racing last weekend, Lance Stroll took over that the wheel for Williams and the Canadian also broke the century mark of laps, with a tally of 137. He finished in fifth place just over two seconds off the place and just three hundredths of a second clear of Force India's Nikita Mazepin.

After lunch Mazepin handed over driving duties at Force India to DTM driver Lucas Auer, who finished the day in ninth place.

Seventh place on the timesheet went to Formula 2 driver Nicholas Latifi. The Canadian will tomorrow hand over at Renault to Robert Kubica who will drive take part in an F1 test for the first time since February 2011.

Toro Rosso's Sean Gelael was eighth ahead of Auer and Haas junior driver Santino Santino Ferrucci, while Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen finished in 11th place.

The Dutch driver was restricted to the garage for most of the morning as his team solved an MGU-K issue but managed a handful of laps before the lunch break. He then had a trouble-free afternoon to eventually post a total of 58 laps. Sauber’s Gustav Malja finished in 12th place, 3.7s off the pace.

Results

Pos.DriverTeamBestGapLaps
1Charles LeclercFerrari1:17.746-98
2Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1:17.834+0.08872
3Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:18.777+1.031155
4George RussellMercedes AMG1:19.231+1.485119
5Lance StrollWilliams1:19.866+2.120138
6Nikita MazepinForce India1:19.910+2.16452
7Nicholas LatifiRenault1:20.302+2.55654
8Sean GelaelToro Rosso1:20.341+2.595101
9Lucas AuerForce India1:20.563+2.81754
10Santino FerrucciHaas Ferrari1:21.185+3.439102
11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing1:21.228+3.48258
12Gustav MaljaSauber1:21.503+3.757108

Based on a publication by fia.com