In another session plagued by two red flags, it was the Red Bull Racing driver, Daniel Ricciardo who topped the timesheet – much like he did earlier today in Free Practice 1. Just behind him was Sebastian Vettel, who recovered from a mediocre first practice, where he finished sixth fastest.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas team didn’t appear to be up to their usual standard, with Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton finishing third and fifth fastest respectively, split by Kimi Raikkonen. Hamilton struggled to put a lap together on the supersoft tyres, meaning that he wasn’t in contention to go fastest.
Unlike team-mate Ricciardo, Max Verstappen didn’t use the new update for his car and as a result only managed to finish sixth fastest, just ahead of an impressive Nico Hulkenberg in seventh.
One of the bigger surprises of the day was the driver who finished eighth, Fernando Alonso. The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team expected Hungary to be a stronger circuit for them – it has few straights and requires less power over the course of the lap, something which suits the Honda engine that can be up to eighty horsepower down on the other power units. His team-mate, Stoffel Vandoorne had promising pace as well, finishing tenth, although he was not able to make it to the end of the session due to an unknown issue with the car. Ninth fastest was Carlos Sainz in the Scuderia Toro Rosso.
The Sahara Force India team were surprisingly anonymous throughout the session, finishing in eleventh and twelfth, which, in comparison to their performance earlier in the season is mediocre at best. Thirteenth fastest went to Daniil Kvyat.
Both Williams Martini Racing drivers, Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll appeared to struggle with the car during the session – with Massa spinning twice. The team didn’t look to be in the midfield fight, and instead were found towards the bottom of the table, sitting around fourteenth and fifteenth respectively for much of the session.
Renault Formula 1 Team‘s Jolyon Palmer didn’t make it to the end of the session, as, for the second time in the day, an error resulted in damage to the car. His pace before the incident had been relatively poor, with his fastest lap only leaving him in sixteenth position. This is particularly worrying for the Brit, who needs to perform this weekend, with the threat of Robert Kubica taking his seat becoming ever more present.
Kevin Magnussen didn’t get out until late in the session due to damage on his car from Free Practice 1, after reserve driver Antonio Giovanazzi crashed. Nevertheless, in seventeenth place, he was still faster than his team-mate Romain Grosjean in eighteenth, who strugglthroughoutout the session.
Pascal Wehrlein was also unable to complete the session after losing control and smashing into the wall at turn 11, causing huge amounts of damage to the car. Fortunately, the German driver seemed fine – but the Sauber F1 Team has a lot of work to do. The crash also brought out the red flag, which meant that the session was delayed by around five minutes. He finished in last place, just behind Marcus Ericsson in ninteenth.
Ricciardo appears to be the dominant force thus far this weekend, but, can he continue his run of good form into tomorrow and Sunday, or will there be a Mercedes resurgence?
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