F1 – Verstappen Set The Pace As Hungarian Grand Prix Weekend Gets Underway

F1 – Verstappen Set The Pace As Hungarian Grand Prix Weekend Gets Underway

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen went quickest in the opening practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix, outpacing Mercedes Valtteri Bottas by six hundredths of a second with Lewis Hamilton a further tenth of a second back in third place in the other Mercedes.

In hot sunshine, after Daniel Ricciardo, Bottas and Pierre Gasly had all taken turns at the top of the timesheet, Verstappen set the early benchmark with a lap of 1m19.725 on hard tyres. Hamilton then slotted into second 0.146s behind the championship leader.

However, Verstappen continued to improve over a long first run as Honda assessed the engine that had been fitted to the car heavily damaged in his Silverstone clash with Hamilton and he eventually worked his way to a time of 1:19.025 by the quarter-hour mark.

Both Mercedes drivers then opted to move to the C4 compound soft tyre on offer from Pirelli this weekend and Bottas quickly moved to the top of the timesheet with a lap of 1:17.616. Hamilton’s first attempt handed him second place, 0.380s behind his team-mate as he complained of handling issues. He returned to the pit lane to make changes to the front wing of his car and then improved to sit 0.106 behind the Finn.

The session was then brought to a halt as Yuki Tsunoda crashed. The Japanese driver had already had one minor moment in Turn 9 but this time he took too much kerb in Turn 4 and lost the rear of his car. His AlphTauri swapped ends and he went backwards into the barriers. He was quickly out of the car but the session was red-flagged to allow for his AT02 to be recovered.

After a five-minute stoppage Verstappen then switched to softs and with a purple second sector helping jumped back to the top of the order with a lap of 1:17.555.

With the top three spots settled, fourth place in the session went to Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and with Pierre Gasly fifth in the other AlphaTauri.

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso finished sixth despite suffering a lurid early spin in Turn 4 early in the session. The Spaniard finished ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, while Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez finished eighth after improving with a soft tyre run late in the session. The Mexican finished ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris and the tenth-placed Aston Martin of Lance Stroll.

2021 FIA Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:17.555 21 203.360
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:17.616 0.061 26 203.200
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:17.722 0.167 25 202.923
4 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:18.115 0.560 24 201.902
5 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1:18.181 0.626 27 201.731
6 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:18.385 0.830 26 201.206
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:18.391 0.836 23 201.191
8 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda 1:18.466 0.911 20 200.999
9 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:18.649 1.094 26 200.531
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:18.755 1.200 25 200.261
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:18.765 1.210 26 200.236
12 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda 1:18.770 1.215 18 200.223
13 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:18.989 1.434 22 199.668
14 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:19.265 1.710 27 198.973
15 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1:19.724 2.169 24 197.827
16 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:19.824 2.269 24 197.579
17 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:20.383 2.828 26 196.205
18 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:20.639 3.084 23 195.582
19 Nikita Mazepin Haas/Ferrari 1:20.992 3.437 23 194.730
20 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:21.889 4.334 5 192.597

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