Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has gone fastest on a rain-affected opening day at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Hamilton set the pace with a 1:17.233s in the opening 90-minute practice session, during which Max Verstappen set a personal best 0.165s slower, and Sebastian Vettel another thousandth of a second slower again.
Verstappen was second fastest again in Practice 2, by 0.055s to Red Bull Racing team-mate Pierre Gasly’s 1:17.854s, with the Mercedes of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas third and fourth respectively.
Hamilton clocked the fastest lap of the day at the half-hour mark of Practice 1 on soft compound tyres, this weekend the C4.
Vettel put himself into second with almost an hour elapsed, on soft tyres, and that would prove to the Ferrari driver’s best on Friday.
It was Verstappen, however, who would end up edging the German despite spins at Turn 14 and then Turn 12 during the hit-out.
Gasly was within half a second of Hamilton’s pace, Kevin Magnussen (Haas) rounded out the top five, and Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) was 11th.
While there was rain at various times during the first session, the second was more significantly affected.
Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) was fastest when Alexander Albon crashed and drew a red flag just five minutes in.
Albon had dropped the left-hand side wheels off on entry to the final corner of the Hungaroring circuit and slid up to the barriers.
Bottas, who did not set a lap time during Practice 1 due to a misfire in his Mercedes, was then the first to move the benchmark to the 1:18s bracket with a 1:18.289s on medium tyres.
He was usurped by Hamilton, who subsequently got to a 1:17.995s on hard tyres, before the Red Bulls of Verstappen on mediums and then Gasly on softs went to the top of the timing screen just inside the first 20 minutes.
Very light rain became a little heavier, but not heavy enough to lap the circuit without wrecking the intermediate tyres.
The conditions led to a dearth of track activity until it did get wet enough for intermediates in the final 20 minutes or so.
The circuit became far busier, although lap times were more than 20 seconds away from the earlier, almost dry weather pace.
Ricciardo was briefly second with a 1:18.597s on soft tyres, which ultimately saw him end the session in fifth position.
Practice 3 starts on Saturday at 2000 AEST, followed by Qualifying at 2300 AEST.
Results: Practice 1
|2||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:17.398||+0.165|
|4||10||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:17.682||+0.449|
|5||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:17.942||+0.709|
|8||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:18.531||+1.298|
|9||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||1:18.702||+1.469|
|10||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:18.787||+1.554|
|12||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:18.973||+1.740|
|13||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:18.982||+1.749|
|14||23||Alexander Albon||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:19.223||+1.990|
|15||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:19.325||+2.092|
|16||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:19.488||+2.255|
|17||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:19.649||+2.416|
|18||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:19.722||+2.489|
|19||88||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||1:20.322||+3.089|
Results: Practice 2
|1||10||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:17.854|
|2||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:17.909||+0.055|
|6||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:18.682||+0.828|
|9||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:18.909||+1.055|
|10||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:18.957||+1.103|
|11||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:19.149||+1.295|
|12||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:19.178||+1.324|
|14||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||1:19.398||+1.544|
|15||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:19.721||+1.867|
|16||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:19.774||+1.920|
|17||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:19.889||+2.035|
|18||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:20.401||+2.547|
|19||88||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||1:20.439||+2.585|
|20||23||Alexander Albon||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda|