Ferrari breaks the lap record on the opening day of the Hungaroring tests

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F1 Test, Hungary, Hungaroringhu

Ferrari development driver Antonio Giovinazzi set the pace on the opening day of the post-Hungarian GP tests, lowering the unofficial Hungaroring track record on Pirelli's softest compound.

Even if weather stole the chance from Ferrari in the qualifying session for the Hungarian GP to capitalize on its commanding pace around the Hungaroring circuit, the Italian team reminded today once again that it could have easily cruised to victory on a dry track. Former GP2 driver Antonio Giovinazzi worked for Ferrari today and smashed the previous unofficial track record set by Sebastian Vettel in the third practice session for last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

While the German's time was set on the ultrasoft compound and not in full qualifying mode in the final practice session, the Italian rolled out onto the twisty Hungarian circuit on the hypersoft compound which is the softest of Pirelli’s 2018 range.

The 24-year-old driver first broke the record at 15:50 when he set a 1:15.8 on his first set of hypersofts. After a cool-down lap, he went for another quick lap which ended in a lap time of 1:16.2. Half an hour later, at 16:23, Ferrari sent Giovinazzi out for another run on the hypersoft compound and the stint saw the Italian lowering the previous benchmark by another two tenths.

Sauber-Alfa Romeo’s Marcus Ericsson was the second fastest, but the Swedish driver was more than 2.5s slower than the benchmark.

Today’s only red flag session was triggered by the Indonesian Sean Gelael who crashed his Toro Rosso at the high-speed Turn 11 in the afternoon. Despite to his crash, the 21-year-old F2 driver completed a total of 109 laps.

Brendon Hartley was the most diligent driver of the day, covering 126 laps over the test day. The Kiwi used hypersoft tyres to set his best time.

Dogged by reliability issues, Mercedes’ young driver, current F2 championship leader George Russell completed the least amount of laps during the day and was over 4 seconds slower than Giovinazzi’s new track record.

McLaren’s best time was a 1:19.294 which was set by Lando Norris on the soft compound.

Oliver Rowland, working diligently on Williams’ 2019 front wing design, drove only 65 laps.

A brief but heavy rain shower hit the Budapest circuit with an hour and a half remaining which meant the end of the session for many drivers. Only McLaren’s Lando Norris and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo were doing meaningful work, both lapping on Pirelli’s intermediate tyres.

Results

Pos.DriverTeamTimeGapLaps
1A. GiovinazziFerrari1:15.648-96
2M. EricssonSauber1:18.1552.50795
3B.HartleyToro Rosso1:19.2513.60366
4L. NorrisMcLaren1:19.2943.646126
5G. RussellMercedes AMG1:19.7814.13349
6D.RicciardoRed Bull Racing1:19.8544.206125
7N. LatifiForce India1:19.9944.346103
8N. HulkenbergRenault1:20.8265.17863
9O. RowlandWilliams1:20.9705.32265
10S. GelaelToro Rosso1:21.4515.803109