Hungaroring, FP2: Gasly tops rain-affected second practice session

As Alex Albon crashes


By Olivier Ferret

2 August 2019 - 16:38
Hungaroring, FP2: Gasly tops rain-affect

Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly topped the timesheet in a rain-affected seconds practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix that saw Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon crash out.

The session was held under grey skies and the threat of rain and as such there was a flurry of activity soon after the green lights went on at the end of the pit lane with 17 drivers taking to the track in the opening minutes.

One of those was Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas. The Finn missed the morning session owing to a change of engine on his car and after the switch he was quickly into gear in the afternoon, taking top spot with a time midway into the 1m19s bracket.

The track wouldn’t remain busy for long though. Within moments of Bottas taking P1, Alex Albon put a wheel on the grass on entry into the final Turn and his Toro Rosso was immediately sent into a spin. The Thai driver went side-on into the barriers on the outside of the corner with his car sustaining significant damage to its left side.

The Toro Rosso driver was unhurt but the incident brought out the red flags and there was a six-minute delay as his car recovered.

When the action resumed, Bottas improved again took P1 with a lap of 1:18.289 set on mediums but that time was quickly beaten by team-mate Lewis Hamilton who posted a lap of 1:18.110s on hard compound Pirelli tyres. The championship leader then went better again, setting a new benchmark of 1:17.995.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen then eclipses that with his best lap of 1:17.909 set on medium tyres. Gasly, though, opted for soft compound tyres and he rose to the top of the leaderboard with a session-best time of 1:18.854.

Rain then began to steadily fall and the conditions, which are not forecast to effect either qualifying or the race, effectively brought the session to an end. Over the remaining hour most drivers took to the circuit on intermediate tyres but by and large it was for brief exploratory runs before returning to the pit lane.

It meant that Gasly held on to top spot ahead of Verstappen, Hamilton and Bottas. Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth 0.743 behind Gasly having snuck in a lap before the rain brought meaningful running to an end.

Kimi Raikkonen was sixth for Alfa Romeo, while Charles Leclerc was the highest placed Ferrari almost a second adrift of Gasly. Leclerc’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel used hard tyres ahead of the rain and finished in P13, 1.4s off the pace.

Nico Hulkenberg was eighth in the second Renault ahead of Alfa’s Antonio Giovinazzi and the top 10 order was rounded out by Hockenheim podium-finisher Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso.

01 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Honda RB15 1:17.854 16
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB15 1:17.909 12
03 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W10 1:17.995 15
04 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W10 1:18.184 18
05 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS19 1:18.597 13
06 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:18.682 25
07 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF90 1:18.852 21
08 Nico Hülkenberg Renault RS19 1:18.892 14
09 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:18.909 25
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:18.957 22
11 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:19.149 19
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:19.178 21
13 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF90 1:19.254 24
14 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL34 1:19.398 22
15 Sergio Pérez Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:19.721 13
16 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:19.774 14
17 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW42 1:19.889 14
18 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL34 1:20.401 6
19 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes FW42 1:20.439 15
20 Alex Albon Toro Rosso Honda STR14 -:—.--- 2

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