In what is expected to be the hottest session of the weekend, Lewis Hamilton tops the second practice session for the Hungarian GP.
Friday afternoon near Budapest, blistering heat and revving engines, Formula One’s Hungarian weekend continues with Lewis Hamilton topping the second free practice session. This time round, Lewis led from Kvyat and Ricciardo rather than Rosberg during a session stopped by just the one red flag.
Hamilton opened the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend with the fastest lap in first practice before two red flags brought the running down a notch. But while Lewis set the pace for Rosberg to claw towards, Perez brought out the first red flag of the day when his Force India rolled over after the rear suspension failed. Kimi later went on to bring the red flag back out when his front wing went under his Ferrari, scattering debris across the circuit.
Ferrari however had minimal work to do in order to get Kimi back out for FP2 while the damage Perez suffered meant he missed the second practice session. His Force India team-mate, Hulkenberg, also sat out the session as the team continued to investigate what caused Perez’s crash.
Kimi also was the first man of the day to switch onto the soft, option tyres. At the time Raikkonen sat down in sixth place, 1.899 seconds off Hamilton’s benchmark on the prime, medium compound Pirelli’s. But after setting purple sectors in all three parts of the Hungaroring, Kimi leapt to P1 by 0.479 seconds. Marcus Ericsson also joined Raikkonen in making the switch between compounds and found almost two seconds with the softer rubber compared to Kimi’s gain of 1.4 seconds on the first flying lap.
The duo’s change to the option tyres with an hour to go triggered the rest of the field to make the switch. Unfortunately for Kimi, the change of compound allowed the Silver Arrows to soar back into the top two with Hamilton leading Rosberg by seven tenths and Raikkonen by 1.1 seconds. Hamilton’s new fastest lap also took the session best sector times away from Kimi who did at least make a net gain of seven tenths on Hamilton with the change of rubber.
Surprisingly Red Bull continued to show the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend could be good for them as both drivers split the Mercedes’ for second and third once the Silver Arrows had returned to the pits. Elsewhere Vettel was also struggling on the soft tyres, spinning his Scuderia at turn 12 before later locking up and setting a time only good enough for seventh. As always however, Ferrari do run slightly more race preferred set ups on a Friday while their rivals look at qualifying set ups.
But soon enough everyone was looking towards the race and stretching out the stints on used soft and medium tyres. For most on the softs, they were doing stints of around seven laps while the likes of Sainz and Bottas were stretching their stints a little more towards the ten lap mark. However all runs were brought to a halt after the third red flag of the day and the first of FP2 came out with just over 20 minutes remaining.
This time the red flag was not down to debris across the track or a car upside down, but the result of the engine in Ricciardo’s Red Bull coming to the end of its life. Luckily for him it was not his race engine but the Renault power unit still took an early death and poured smoke out of the rear of the Red Bull and brought out a red flag.
Once the Red Bull was cleared and the red flag was tucked away, the green flags beckoned the drivers back onto the circuit for more long runs with most drivers favouring the harder, medium compound tyres. But with used primes bolted on, Hamilton’s P1 came under no threat and the Red Bull’s came home second and third with Rosberg fourth.
McLaren managed to get one car into the top ten this time around with Alonso in P8. But both McLaren’s looked like they were almost there for a Q3 slot with just two tenths splitting Button and Alonso.
Two of the cars splitting the McLaren’s were also the Williams pair who often have poor Friday’s by appearance but shoot up the grid come Saturday, meaning Alonso and Button could be closer together come qualifying.
|19||Perez||No time set|
|20||Hulkenberg||No time set|