GASLY TOPS RAIN-AFFECTED SECOND PRACTICE SESSION AS ALBON CRASHES
Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly topped the timesheet in a rain-affected seconds practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix that saw Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon crash out.
The session was held under grey skies and the threat of rain and as such there was a flurry of activity soon after the green lights went on at the end of the pit lane with 17 drivers taking to the track in the opening minutes.
One of those was Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas. The Finn missed the morning session owing to a change of engine on his car and after the switch he was quickly into gear in the afternoon, taking top spot with a time midway into the 1m19s bracket.
The track wouldn’t remain busy for long though. Within moments of Bottas taking P1, Alex Albon put a wheel on the grass on entry into the final Turn and his Toro Rosso was immediately sent into a spin. The Thai driver went side-on into the barriers on the outside of the corner with his car sustaining significant damage to its left side.
The Toro Rosso driver was unhurt but the incident brought out the red flags and there was a six-minute delay as his car recovered.
When the action resumed, Bottas improved again took P1 with a lap of 1:18.289 set on mediums but that time was quickly beaten by team-mate Lewis Hamilton who posted a lap of 1:18.110s on hard compound Pirelli tyres. The championship leader then went better again, setting a new benchmark of 1:17.995.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen then eclipses that with his best lap of 1:17.909 set on medium tyres. Gasly, though, opted for soft compound tyres and he rose to the top of the leaderboard with a session-best time of 1:18.854.
Rain then began to steadily fall and the conditions, which are not forecast to effect either qualifying or the race, effectively brought the session to an end. Over the remaining hour most drivers took to the circuit on intermediate tyres but by and large it was for brief exploratory runs before returning to the pit lane.
It meant that Gasly held on to top spot ahead of Verstappen, Hamilton and Bottas. Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth 0.743 behind Gasly having snuck in a lap before the rain brought meaningful running to an end.
Kimi Raikkonen was sixth for Alfa Romeo, while Charles Leclerc was the highest placed Ferrari almost a second adrift of Gasly. Leclerc’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel used hard tyres ahead of the rain and finished in P13, 1.4s off the pace.
Nico Hulkenberg was eighth in the second Renault ahead of Alfa’s Antonio Giovinazzi and the top 10 order was rounded out by Hockenheim podium-finisher Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso.
2019 FIA Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing 16 1:17.854
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 12 1:17.909 0.055
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 15 1:17.995 0.141
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 18 1:18.184 0.330
5 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 13 1:18.597 0.743
6 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 25 1:18.682 0.828
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 21 1:18.852 0.998
8 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 14 1:18.892 1.038
9 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 25 1:18.909 1.055
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 22 1:18.957 1.103
11 Romain Grosjean Haas 19 1:19.149 1.295
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas 21 1:19.178 1.324
13 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 24 1:19.254 1.400
14 Carlos Sainz McLaren 22 1:19.398 1.544
15 Sergio Perez Racing Point 13 1:19.721 1.867
16 Lance Stroll Racing Point 14 1:19.774 1.920
17 George Russell Williams 14 1:19.889 2.035
18 Lando Norris McLaren 6 1:20.401 2.547
19 Robert Kubica Williams 15 1:20.439 2.585
20 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 2
HAMILTON NARROWLY AHEAD IN OPENING PRACTICE IN HUNGARY
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FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Lewis Hamilton went quickest in a closely-matched opening practice session for the Hungary Grand Prix, with the championship leader finishing just under 1700ths of a second ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who finished second and third respectively.
There was trouble, however, for Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, with the Finn failing to set a time after his car suffered and early engine issue.
Bottas’ power unit issue was identified after the Finnish driver had completed just two installation laps and after Mercedes elected to complete and engine change, Bottas failed to run for the rest of the 90-minute session.
Hamilton set his benchmark time of 1:17.233 a third of the way into the session, despite spots of rain falling on the track. With a little over half an hour remaining Vettel then closed in, the German putting in a lap of 1:17.399 to set 0.166s behind Hamilton.
The Ferrari driver held on to P2 on the timesheet until the final quarter of an hour, when Verstappen found a small improvement that edged him one thousandth of a second ahead of the Ferrari. Verstappen was not happy with his RB15, however, complaining that it was overly sensitive throughout.
Fourth place in the session went to Verstappen’s team-mate Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman put in his best time of the session half an hour from the end of the session, using a new set of soft tyres to post a time of 1:17.682, 0.449 adrift of Hamilton.
While Vettel ended the session in third place, team-mate Charles Leclerc found himself well off the pace in the first session, taking sixth place almost a second off Hamilton’s pace after a less than perfect lap on soft tyres.
Leclerc’s lapse allowed Haas’ Kevin Magnussen to slip past and claim fifth, seven tenths of a second Hamilton and more than two tenths clear of the second Ferrari driver.
Seventh place in the session went to Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, though the German was closely followed by the two customer Renault-powered McLarens of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz. The top 10 order was closed out by Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen who was 1.5s off the pace.
2019 FIA Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 41 1:17.233
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 28 1:17.398 0.165
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 25 1:17.399 0.166
4 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing 25 1:17.682 0.449
5 Kevin Magnussen Haas 31 1:17.942 0.709
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 29 1:18.188 0.955
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 31 1:18.417 1.184
8 Lando Norris McLaren 34 1:18.531 1.298
9 Carlos Sainz McLaren 23 1:18.702 1.469
10 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing 32 1:18.787 1.554
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 30 1:18.894 1.661
12 Romain Grosjean Haas 32 1:18.973 1.740
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 33 1:18.982 1.749
14 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 28 1:19.223 1.990
15 Sergio Perez Racing Point 20 1:19.325 2.092
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing 24 1:19.488 2.255
17 George Russell Williams 33 1:19.649 2.416
18 Lance Stroll Racing Point 34 1:19.722 2.489
19 Robert Kubica Williams 30 1:20.322 3.089
20 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 2