It was a tale of two differing sessions for Lewis Hamilton at the Hungaroring on Friday, as the reigning World Champion set the pace in the morning before crashing early in the afternoon into the turn eleven barriers.
The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver completed thirty-four laps in the opening practice, leading the way with a time of 1:21.347, 0.237 seconds clear of team-mate and championship rival Nico Rosberg, but only completed four laps in the afternoon before losing control of his W07 Hybrid at turn eleven.
Hamilton was able to return to the pits but his session was over as the team needed to repair his car, with the Briton apologising to the team for the error.
“Obviously, not the greatest session for me,” said Hamilton. “My apologies to the crew for all the hard work they have ahead to strip the car and get it back together.
“Fortunately, I got a good feel for it in the few laps that I did have and the pace is clearly there, so hopefully tomorrow I can make up for the time lost today during the morning session and come back strongly in Qualifying.”
Hamilton blamed the circuit changes for the incident, feeling the track has lost a bit of character as a result of it being resurfaced and some of its kerbs re-profiled.
“I think I put my rear wheel slightly over the white line and touched that kerb and they’re very, very slippery,” said Hamilton. “I don’t know why they’ve actually put them there. It was fine the way it was before.
“I don’t put it down to the track, it was obviously me, I put the wheel in the wrong place. It’s a shame that sometimes they do these things.
“I don’t know why. We had these old kerbs before and where I went off there was a nice little small lip, it was fantastic. It worked for so many years and then they decided to change it. I assume they’ve just got so much money that they needed to spend it.”