Hungaroring, FP1: Hamilton narrowly ahead in opening practice

Verstappen 2nd, Vettel 3rd and an engine problem for Bottas


By Olivier Ferret

2 August 2019 - 12:36
Hungaroring, FP1: Hamilton narrowly (...)

Lewis Hamilton went quickest in a closely-matched opening practice session for the Hungary Grand Prix, with the championship leader finishing just under 1700ths of a second ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who finished second and third respectively.

There was trouble, however, for Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, with the Finn failing to set a time after his car suffered and early engine issue.

Bottas’ power unit issue was identified after the Finnish driver had completed just two installation laps and after Mercedes elected to complete and engine change, Bottas failed to run for the rest of the 90-minute session.

Hamilton set his benchmark time of 1:17.233 a third of the way into the session, despite spots of rain falling on the track. With a little over half an hour remaining Vettel then closed in, the German putting in a lap of 1:17.399 to set 0.166s behind Hamilton.

The Ferrari driver held on to P2 on the timesheet until the final quarter of an hour, when Verstappen found a small improvement that edged him one thousandth of a second ahead of the Ferrari. Verstappen was not happy with his RB15, however, complaining that it was overly sensitive throughout.

Fourth place in the session went to Verstappen’s team-mate Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman put in his best time of the session half an hour from the end of the session, using a new set of soft tyres to post a time of 1:17.682, 0.449 adrift of Hamilton.

While Vettel ended the session in third place, team-mate Charles Leclerc found himself well off the pace in the first session, taking sixth place almost a second off Hamilton’s pace after a less than perfect lap on soft tyres.

Leclerc’s lapse allowed Haas’ Kevin Magnussen to slip past and claim fifth, seven tenths of a second Hamilton and more than two tenths clear of the second Ferrari driver.

Seventh place in the session went to Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, though the German was closely followed by the two customer Renault-powered McLarens of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz. The top 10 order was closed out by Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen who was 1.5s off the pace.

01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W10 1:17.233 41
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB15 1:17.398 28
03 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF90 1:17.399 25
04 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Honda RB15 1:17.682 25
05 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:17.942 31
06 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF90 1:18.188 29
07 Nico Hülkenberg Renault RS19 1:18.417 31
08 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL34 1:18.531 34
09 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL34 1:18.702 23
10 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:18.787 32
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS19 1:18.894 30
12 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:18.973 32
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:18.982 33
14 Alex Albon Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:19.223 28
15 Sergio Pérez Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:19.325 20
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:19.488 24
17 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW42 1:19.649 33
18 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:19.722 34
19 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes FW42 1:20.322 30
20 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W10 -:—.--- 2

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