Hungarian GP: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton tops opening practice

Updated: Aug 03, 2019, 09:52 IST | Abhishek Takle |

The Bri, who leads Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by 41 points in the overall standings with ten races still to go, lapped the 4.3-kilometre long Hungaroring in one minute, 17.233 seconds.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

Budapest: Championship leader Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time on a rain-hit opening day of practice yesterday for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Briton, who leads Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 41 points in the overall standings with ten races still to go, lapped the tight twists of the 4.3-kilometer long Hungaroring in one minute, 17.233 seconds.

That effort, set in the dry in the opening session, was 0.165 seconds quicker than the lap set by Max Verstappen, winner at the last race in Germany, with the Red Bull driver’s best effort also coming during the first 90 minutes of running.

The Dutchman was second in the afternoon, completing a Red Bull one-two on the timesheets behind team-mate Pierre Gasly who, fourth in the first session, set the pace in the afternoon before the rain arrived.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, also putting in his quickest lap of the day in the first session, was third. Hamilton and Mercedes head into tomorrow’s race keen to turn the page on a nightmare German Grand Prix last Sunday. Verstappen, meanwhile is hoping to make it three wins from four races for Red Bull.

But the mixed conditions on Friday limited the amount of laps teams did, offering up no indication of who’s on form and who’s not heading into today’s qualifying session.

Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Bottas was fourth in the second session but did not set a time in the opening 90 minutes as Mercedes discovered an issue with his power unit and fitted his car with a new one.

Daniel Ricciardo, eleventh in the first session, was fifth for Renault after lunch ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who crashed out in the wet in Germany last Sunday, was sixth and seventh quickest, respectively.

Nico Hulkenberg was eighth. Antonio Giovinazzi was ninth in the other Alfa Romeo. Daniil Kvyat, on the podium for Toro Rosso in Germany, rounded out the top ten. His team-mate Alexander Albon, fresh from racing a Formula One car in the wet for the first time last Sunday, crashed out in the afternoon. That was the most dramatic of an otherwise incident-free day.

Also read: F1: Lewis Hamilton on pole in German GP qualifying

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