Lewis Hamilton went on to secure the fastest lap time in the opening free practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix, narrowly beating Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.
Free Practice One got underway with the threat of rain looming on the radar. However, the rain made appearances a couple of time during the opening session of the weekend, but the few raindrops did not interrupt the running, giving the teams and drivers opportunity to search for a good setup for the twisty and tight layout of the Hungaroring.
Lewis Hamilton set the pace with the best lap time of 1m17.233 in front of Max Verstappen. The Red Bull driver was only 0.165 slower than the Briton who recorded his fastest lap time during his first stint. For his second running, he chose the medium compound, but he was unable to improve his lap time on the harder compound.
It was not surprising that Hamilton used the medium Pirelli rubber as the two Mercedes drivers took the most conservative approach to the weekend by taking the fewest soft sets. Hamilton was not only the fastest driver in the first practice session, but he also became the most diligent by racking up a total of 41 laps.
The Briton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas did not have an easy time during the first practice session. After completing only two installation laps, Mercedes identified a power unit issue on his W10. As the team elected to change the Finn’s old power unit for the second practice session, Bottas failed to run for the rest of the session.
Ferrari endured a slowish start to the session with Vettel and Leclerc failing to be within a second to the early pacesetter Hamilton. However, Vettel found a good balance on his second set of soft, enabling the German to set the third fastest time of the session. His team-mate Leclerc was on a really quick time on the first flying lap of his second stint, but he made a crucial mistake in Turn 14, the last corner of the track which allowed Haas’ Kevin Magnussen to slip past and claim fifth place.
Apart from Bottas, Williams driver Robert Kubica was the slowest driver. His teammate George Russell managed to beat the struggling Lance Stroll who did not find the harmony with his RP19, making a series of mistakes in the only chicane of the track.
|2||33||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:17.398||+0.165s||28|
|4||10||Pierre Gasly||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:17.682||+0.449s||25|
|5||20||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||1:17.942||+0.709s||31|
|8||4||Lando Norris||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:18.531||+1.298s||34|
|9||55||Carlos Sainz||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:18.702||+1.469s||23|
|10||7||Kimi Räikkönen||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:18.787||+1.554s||32|
|12||8||Romain Grosjean||HAAS FERRARI||1:18.973||+1.740s||32|
|13||26||Daniil Kvyat||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||1:18.982||+1.749s||33|
|14||23||Alexander Albon||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||1:19.223||+1.990s||28|
|15||11||Sergio Perez||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:19.325||+2.092s||20|
|16||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:19.488||+2.255s||24|
|17||63||George Russell||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:19.649||+2.416s||33|
|18||18||Lance Stroll||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:19.722||+2.489s||34|
|19||88||Robert Kubica||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:20.322||+3.089s||30|