2020 Hungarian Grand Prix – Practice 1: Lewis Hamilton is Hungary

Lewis Hamilton put in the fastest lap in the first practice session of the weekend, as he showed determination for his seventh world title.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, was the first to set a timed lap of the session as he recorded a lap 1:19.536. Despite the fact, he was one of the last drivers to get out onto the Hungaroring. Lando Norris, McLaren, was the first driver out when the green light was shown to start of P1 and completed two installation laps before he returned to the pit lane.

However, it wasn’t long until Mercedes topped the timing board as Valtteri Bottas set the fastest lap of 1:16.559 as his teammate, six-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton was 0.879s (1:17.438) slower.

“Understeer middle of turn 14, rest is pretty good”

Bottas over Mercedes team radio regarding potential aerodynamic adjustments

Hamilton finished the first third of the session as the fastest driver on the grid with his lap of 1:16.126. He was faster by 0.418s (1:16.544), over his Finnish teammate, going into the last hour of P1. However, both silver arrows were on the soft compound tyres (the fastest of the three allocated tyres) while the majority of the grid were mixed between the mediums and the hard tyres. Williams Racing teammates, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, were the only other driver on the softs.

As the session crossed over the halfway point, Alpha Tauri’s French driver, Pierre Gasly was the only driver who hadn’t set a time on the lap board. By the end, he was the only driver not to set a lap time.

On the other hand, as he catapulted from P14 to P3, Kevin Magnussen, Haas, took the third spot on the table. However, Racing Point reacted as they sent Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll out with soft compound tyres to regain third and fourth respectively.

“Start a bit of rear left management, start a bit of rear left management”

Racing Point pit wall to Stroll over team radio

There were a change in conditions as we entered the last 10 minutes of the first practice session of the weekend, as rain was spotted around the Hungaroring. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, on his flying lap stated:

“More rain now, around turn four.”

In the end, Mercedes locked out the top two fastest positions on the timing board as Hamilton led his teammate with his fastest lap: 1:16.003 on the hard compound, 0.038s faster than Bottas. However, Racing Point look to be a competitive mid-table side – with the potential to challenge the top three as Perez and Stroll finished third and fourth, five places higher than the nearest McLaren – who was Norris in P9.

Fastest drivers:

  1. Lewis Hamliton, Mercedes – 1:16.003
  2. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes – 1:16.089 (+0.086)
  3. Sergio Perez, Racing Point – 1:16.530 (+0.527)

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