Hungarian GP: Verstappen fastest in FP1 ahead of Mercedes duo

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen topped the opening Free Practice session of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.

For this 1 hour session, Alfa Romeo Racing’s reserve driver Robert Kubica took over Kimi Raikkonen’s car and he was the first to head out onto the Hungaroring.

Early times were in the 1m20s and were not representative with the track taking its time to grip up.

The tail-wind presence plus time for the track to grip up caused a recurring theme for spins, but the track temperatures would soon reach up to 60 degrees Celsius.

Monaco GP pole-sitter Charles Leclerc was the first to run wide as Antonio Giovinazzi had his first time deleted for track limits at Turn 4.

Next up it was yesterday’s birthday boy Fernando Alonso, turning 40-years-old, who had a high-speed spin at Turn 4 to flat-spot his hard tyres.

Another spin was from Yuki Tsunoda at Turn 9 being unable to correct a snap of oversteer. This barred a flat-spot on his hards and with 10 laps completed under them.

The Japanese driver crashed backwards into the wall at Turn 4 soon after, thus bringing out a brief Red Flag period to recover the AlphaTauri and repair the barrier.

By the end of the session, it was Max Verstappen who was fastest on a 1m17.555s, just 0.061s ahead of Valtteri Bottas, as Lewis Hamilton slotted himself third-fastest.

Carlos Sainz finished in fourth ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, Alonso, and Leclerc.

Sergio Perez, Lando Norris and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll rounded out the top-10 order.

It was Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in 11th followed by Yuki Tsunoda in 12th, and Sebastian Vettel in 13th.

Daniel Ricciardo was in 14th ahead of Williams Racing duo George Russell and Nicholas Latifi.

Mick Schumacher, Kubica and Nikita Mazepin finished ahead of last-placed Antonio Giovinazzi, only completing five laps in a session mostly spent in the garage for the Italian.