Hungaroring, FP1: Sainz quickest in opening practice

Verstappen 2nd, Leclerc 3rd


By Olivier Ferret

29 July 2022 - 15:07
Hungaroring, FP1: Sainz quickest in (...)

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz topped the timesheet in opening practice for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix, beating Drivers’ World Championship leader Max Verstappen by just over a tenth of a second. Charles Leclerc was third, almost three tenths of a second off the pace of his Ferrari team-mate.

Verstappen set the early pace in the session, with the winner of last weekend’s French Grand Prix posting a time of 1:21.235 in the opening minutes to head Sainz as McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo slotted into third place, on medium tyres. Leclerc lay fourth , 0.482s down on Verstappen, also on soft tyres.

Just before the 10-minute mark Sainz moved into top spot with a lap of 1:20.69, which putting him 0.539s up on Verstappen, but two minutes later Leclerc jumped to the top of the leaderboard when he crossed the line in 1:20.225. Verstappen improved to 1:20.243s to leave the gap at just 0.018s.

After making an installation run at the start of the session, Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Pérez retreated to the pit lane and didn’t emerge until just before the quarter hour mark. And on soft tyres, the Mexican driver and as Sainz reclaimed top spot with a lap of 1:20.184, 0.041s ahead of Leclerc, Perez jumped to fifth place with his first timed run.

At the top of the table the times continued to fall and the top spot changed hands frequently. Leclerc took back P1 , becoming the first man to duck under the 1m20s barrier with a lap of 1:19.863 and again Verstappen improved but just fell short thanks to a lap of 1:19.872, just nine thousandths off the Monegasque driver.

However, just past the 20-minute mark Sainz moved back to first place on a 1:19.671s, while Pérez improved to fourth place behind team-mate Verstappen.

Sainz’s stay in P1 was brief, however, and two minutes after he claimed top spot it was wrestled away from him by Leclerc who set a lap of 1m19.426s.

Just after the halfway point, the Ferrari/Red Bull grip on the top four spots was broken and it was Mercedes’ George Russell who muscled in on the action. The Briton posted a lap of 1:19.606 to split Leclerc and Hamilton, despite reporting that he had bottomed out badly during the tour.

With a little under 20 minutes left on the clock Sainz racked up a purple middle sector to once again take top spot with a lap of 1:19.262. That pushed Russell back to third, with Verstappen fourth ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the second Mercedes.

Verstappen responded, however, and he posted a good lap of 1m18.880 to eclipse Sainz by almost four tenths of a second.

With 12 minutes remaining Sainz went for a final flyer and this time the Spaniard decisively claimed P1 with a lap of 1:18.750 to leave Verstappen 0.130 adrift at the flag, with Leclerc third.

With just over five minutes remaining McLaren’s Lando Norris moved into fourth ahead of Russell, while Pérez had to settle for sixth place. Hamilton ended the session in P7 ahead of Ricciardo and the Alpine cars of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.

01 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:18.750 26
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:18.880 24
03 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1:19.039 26
04 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:19.299 21
05 George Russell Mercedes W13 1:19.606 28
06 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:19.622 24
07 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:19.710 25
08 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:19.841 28
09 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:20.348 30
10 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:20.377 27
11 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:20.383 26
12 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:20.427 25
13 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:20.456 28
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:20.695 27
15 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:20.810 23
16 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:20.834 28
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:20.921 24
18 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:21.027 25
19 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:21.179 20
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 1:21.413 27

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