Formula 1

Hamilton Tops Opening Practice Session While Other Mercedes Suffers Issues

2 Mins read
Hungary FP1
Credit: Steve Etherington

Lewis Hamilton topped a rain affected Free Practice 1 ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes AMG Motorsport driver was a tenth of a second quicker than last weekend’s race winner Max Verstappen who just edged out the Scuderia Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.

The second Red Bull Racing of Pierre Gasly was fourth fastest with Kevin Magnussen in the Haas F1 Team fifth.

Charles Leclerc was sixth quickest with Nico Hülkenberg, Carlos Sainz Jr., Lando Norris and Kimi Räikkönen rounding out the top ten while Valtteri Bottas failed to set a lap time as his Mercedes suffered an engine issue.

The Williams Racing drivers were the first cars out onto the circuit as spots of rain began to fall at turn one with Robert Kubica, fresh off scoring points last weekend at the German Grand Prix getting a big cheer from the Polish fans in the grandstand.

The majority of the drivers went out early to try and make sure they got some dry laps in just incase the rain worsened.

Hamilton was penalised at the Hockenheimring last weekend for going the wrong side of the bollard and this weekend it was his team-mate Bottas who committed the offence as he was forced to bring his Mercedes back into the pits due to an engine issue. The team changed the power unit and the Finn sat out the rest of the session meaning he has a lot of catching up to do in the afternoon.

Bottas wasn’t the only driver to suffer a power unit issue with Sainz ending his session ten minutes early with the McLaren F1 Team having more engine issues.

The Hungaroring has caught many drivers out over the years and Lance Stroll was the first driver to go for a spin this weekend as he got caught out at the chicane. Verstappen may have won last weekend but he found the limits when he spun at the final corner.

The rain eventually worsened after forty minutes of the session with Leclerc the first driver to have a lap on the intermediate tyre and naturally, the track became quieter and quieter. As the rain passed started heading back out on track.

The other Racing Point F1 Team car in Sergio Pérez had a spin while the Ferrari’s began to show their hand with Vettel goes fastest in the first sector but slotting in just behind Hamilton as the British driver topped the opening session in Hungary.

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