Unstable weather conditions are expected to characterise the Hungarian GP weekend, as rain has been predicted for the upcoming free practices and the race. Lewis Hamilton tops FP1 at the Hungaroring, edging out teammate Valtteri Bottas by 0.086s on the Hard tyre. Mercedes kicked off the third weekend of the 2020 season with a trouble-free practice session, followed by the Racing Point duo. Sergio Perez clocked the third quickest laptime, 0.527s off the pace, whereas Lance Stroll closed FP1 in P4 (+0.964).
Renault enforced its presence with Daniel Ricciardo in 5th, ahead of the Ferrari duo. Vettel and Leclerc are seeking redemption following a disappointing second race in Austria, as their struggles go on despite the introduction of a hefty batch of upgrades. The Italian team, however, started showing promise in the long runs in the closing minutes of FP1, a signal that certainly needs to be confirmed throughout this weekend’s practice sessions.
As things currently stand, no major issues have been detected with the tyre compounds selected for Hungary, except for degradation on the Softs. FP2 will therefore be crucial in outlining all possible strategies for the race, if the weather remains stable by this afternoon.
Mercedes expects more challenges from the Red Bull corner this weekend. All eyes are on Max Verstappen, who closed FP1 in P8, 0.031s slower than Leclerc, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris.
Esteban Ocon rounds up the Top-10, 1.612s off the top. Carlos Sainz set the 11th time ahead of Haas driver Kevin Magnussen and Alex Albon. Williams driver Nicholas Latifi closed in P15, less than two seconds behind Hamilton. The Canadian fended off Kvyat, Giovinazzi and teammate George Russell.
AlphaTauri hit trouble in the early stages of the session, as Pierre Gasly’s FP1 was marred by an engine problem. As a result, the Frenchman did not manage to set a time and closed behind the returning Robert Kubica, on driving duties for the session at Alfa Romeo.