FIA Formula 2 championship leader Nyck de Vries started the Hungary weekend in Budapest fastest overall in practice ahead of Prema Racing‘s Mick Schumacher and BWT Arden‘s Anthoine Hubert.
The ART Grand Prix driver set a time of 1:29.236 early in the session and remained on top, ahead of Schumacher, and Hubert, who was quickest throughout the second and third sector. de Vries enters the weekend on top of the championship with 170 points to his name, and returns to a track where he claimed the Feature race win last year.
Practice began in warm conditions with Hubert, Louis Delétraz and de Vries heading out onto the track first. MP Motorsport‘s Jordan King placed the first representative hot lap of the session with a time of 1:31.991, before the times quickly began to fall as the rest of the field set their first flying laps.
UNI-Virtuosi Racing‘s Luca Ghiotto in his first representative run set a time of 1:29.893 ahead of de Vries and the two Prema’s of Sean Gelael and Schumacher. Hubert followed behind with fifth place as ten minutes of the session passed. Two-time Hungary F2 winner Nobuharu Matsushita in the Carlin pushed to third place with his first time of the session as Hubert quickly jumped to the top of the standings with a 1:29.544 lap time.
Gelael, in the Prema, lost the rear of his car at Turn 7, stopping off the circuit and causing a Virtual Safety Car. Gelael was pushed off the circuit, ending his session as a result and ending the VSC period. de Vries quickly jumped up the order, surpassing Hubert for the top spot with a 1:29.236 lap, whilst Schumacher grabbed second place, joining the Dutchman in beating the Arden driver. Guanyu Zhou and Jack Aitken rounded off the top five as the session completed twenty minutes of practice.
Championship contender Nicholas Latifi throughout the session struggled to set a clean lap, encountering traffic during his hot laps. But the Canadian in the DAMS colours managed to place a time with the twelfth best time, just before the red flag was brought out after Ralph Boschung in the Trident suffered spectacular crash at Turn 1, hitting the tyre barriers and ending his session.
The Swiss driver, who makes his return to the series after missing two rounds, got out of the car okay as the marshals cleared the wreckage at the first turn. Boschung was eighteenth fastest at the time of the accident. The session resumed with twelve minutes left, with the drivers queuing in the pit exit to conduct practice starts.
de Vries remained on top of the session, despite having a spin at Turn 5 when he lost control of his ART car with five minutes remaining. The Dutch driver ended the practice on top, ahead of Schumacher and Hubert. King and Zhou rounded off the top five with championship contenders Aitken, Sérgio Sette Câmara and Ghiotto following behind. Matsushita ended the session in ninth ahead of Britain’s Callum Ilott in tenth. Latifi ended a challenging practice session in twelfth place.
|1||4||ART Grand Prix||Nyck de Vries||NED||1:29.236|
|2||9||PREMA Racing||Mick Schumacher||GER||+0.284|
|3||19||BWT Arden||Anthoine Hubert||FRA||+0.308|
|4||16||MP Motorsport||Jordan King||GBR||+0.316|
|5||7||UNI-Virtuosi Racing||Guanyu Zhou||CHI||+0.385|
|6||15||Campos Racing||Jack Aitken||GBR||+0.469|
|7||5||DAMS||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||+0.565|
|8||8||UNI-Virtuosi Racing||Luca Ghiotto||ITA||+0.585|
|9||2||Carlin Motorsport||Nobuharu Matsushita||JPN||+0.606|
|10||11||Sauber Junior Team By Charouz||Callum Ilott||GBR||+0.618|
|11||1||Carlin Motorsport||Louis Deletraz||CHE||+0.652|
|13||12||Sauber Junior Team By Charouz||Juan Manuel Correa||USA||+0.803|
|15||3||ART Grand Prix||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||+0.953|
|16||14||Campos Racing||Arjun Maini||IND||+1.114|
|17||10||PREMA Racing||Sean Gelael||INO||+1.621|
|19||17||MP Motorsport||Mahaveer Raghunathan||NED||+1.826|
|20||18||BWT Arden||Tatiana Calderon||COL||+2.432|