Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo set the pace in both the free practice sessions on day one of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, topping the timing screens at the end of FP2 with Ferrari and Mercedes chasing during a session interrupted by red flag stoppages.
The tight nature of the Hungaroring clearly suits the Red Bull RB13 which sported a raft of updates for the final race before the summer break.
It’s all aero stuff, but hopefully it all works together and a combination of things,” Ricciardo, winner in Hungary in 2014, had told reporters a day earlier. “In the wind-tunnel it looks like it should help downforce and hopefully that gives us the lap time.”
Ricciardo’s best time of 1:18.455 was set on supersofts and was a couple of tenths up on Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who ended the 90 minutes session second quickest. The German’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest.
Not far off Vettel was Valterri Bottas in third, fastest of the Mercedes duo as teammate Lewis Hamilton ended the day fifth but in truth never got an opportunity to unleash a hot lap.
At the end of the session just 0.324 separated the top five drivers.
Max Verstappen could not match his Red Bull teammate all day, ending the session in sixth and half a second down on the benchmark time.
Nico Hulkenberg was seventh fastest in the Renault but his teammate, under pressure, Jolyon Palmer had a torrid first day in Hungary.
In the morning session he destroyed the front wing on his Renault, and in the afternoon session lost control in Turn 14. He slammed the tyre wall at speed seriously damaging his car, but thankfully was not injured.
Earlier Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein also had a big one in Turn 11 (similar to the morning shunt suffered by Antonio Giovinazzi doing FP1 for Haas), breaking and bending bits on both sides of his car. It was a big impact but the German was cleared by the FIA medical team shortly afterwards.
Back at the sharp end Fernando Alonso was eighth fastest with McLaren teammate Stoffel Vandoorne tenth, the pair split on the timing screens by Carlos Sainz in the Toro Rosso.
Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring, Best Lap Times
|1||3||RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER||1:18.455||32|
|6||33||RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER||1:18.951||+0.496s||25|
|11||31||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||1:20.126||+1.671s||34|
|12||11||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||1:20.266||+1.811s||33|