Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz dictated the pace in the opening practice for this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, but reigning world champion Max Verstappen was only a fraction slower with Charles Leclerc ending the session in third place. F1Technical's Balázs Szabó reports on the opening session from the Hungarian GP paddock.
The battle between Ferrari and Red Bull continued in the opening session with Max Verstappen battling against the Scuderia’s duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. At the end of the session, it was the Spaniard, who found himself on top of the leaderboard after setting a benchmark of 1m18.750s on Pirelli’s red-walled soft compound.
The reigning champion was just a tenth of a second slower, showing great speed in Sector 1 where he could benefit from his car’s top-end speed. Following his crash at the French Grand Prix, Leclerc was back in his SF-75 for the first time. The Monegasque showed great speed on his first set of C4 tyres, but he was unable to match his team mate’s pace on his second run, ending the session in P3, almost three tenths of a second adrift of Sainz.
McLaren appeared to be in great shape with Daniel Ricciardo posting a series of promising lap times before his team mate Lando Norris improved in the dying seconds of the session to go fourth fastest ahead of Mercedes George Russell. Mercedes started the session in a modest fashion, but raised the pace on the second set of fresh tyres. Lewis Hamilton took seventh, a place behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.
The Alpine, Aston Martin and AlphaTauri cars occupied the places from P9 to P14 with only three tenths of a second separating the six drivers which indicated another close battle between the midfield teams’ drivers.
It was an important session for Haas as the American team evaluated the fresh upgrade package it brought to the last race before the summer break kicks off. Kevin Magnussen took 17th, going just two tenths of a second faster than his team mate Mick Schumacher. The American team’s arch rival in the fight for the better place in the Constructors’ Standing, Alfa Romeo was just a tenth faster with Zhou Guanyu setting the 15th fastest lap.
The Hinwil-based team’s second car was piloted by Robert Kubica who took over the car from Valtteri Bottas for the opening session. The Polish racer recorded a total of 20 laps, setting consistent lap time on his way to P19 with a time that was just over three tenths of a second slower than what Guanyu managed.
|2||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Rbpt||1:18.880||+0.130s||23|
|4||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||1:19.299||+0.549s||20|
|6||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Rbpt||1:19.622||+0.872s||23|
|8||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Mclaren Mercedes||1:19.841||+1.091s||27|
|9||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||1:20.348||+1.598s||29|
|10||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||1:20.377||+1.627s||26|
|11||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:20.383||+1.633s||25|
|12||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:20.414||+1.664s||24|
|13||10||Pierre Gasly||Alphatauri Rbpt||1:20.456||+1.706s||27|
|14||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alphatauri Rbpt||1:20.695||+1.945s||26|
|15||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:20.810||+2.060s||22|
|16||23||Alexander Albon||Williams Mercedes||1:20.834||+2.084s||27|
|17||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:20.921||+2.171s||23|
|18||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||1:21.027||+2.277s||24|
|19||88||Robert Kubica||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:21.179||+2.429s||19|
|20||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||1:21.413||+2.663s||26|