Seven drivers failed to set a time in the second practice session of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend as Sebastian Vettel finished top with the fastest lap.
Despite the session being started as scheduled, it was five minutes before Pierre Gasly, Alpha Tauri, became the first driver onto the track to do an installation lap, on the full wet tyres. This was the first session he ran today, after he missed the entire first practice session earlier on – due to a sensor issue with the Honda power unit.
In addition, Sergio Perez, Racing Point, became the second driver, after 20 minutes since the start of P2, to venture out onto the track on full wet tyres – due to the amount of standing water that remained present on the track. However, he was the first driver to set a timed lap of 1:43.862.
Furthermore, as he struggled to get temperature into his rear tyres, he ended up going over the grass and gravel at turns six and seven which prompted him to return to the pit lane.
On an out lap, Esteban Ocon, Renault, wandered gingerly around the track as he fought oversteer on the wet track around turn 12. However, he came straight back into the pits to allow the pit crew mechanics to practice a pit stop. His teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, drove out of the pits shortly after Ocon’s arrival in the pit lane to simulate another pit stop.
Both Ferrari drivers, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, finally got out into the track with the full wet tyres – albeit with the Monegasque half a lap ahead of his experienced teammate. But, they fell behind both Racing Point cars in the timing board who occupied first (Stroll) and second (Perez), while Leclerc placed the faster time out of the red Ferrari’s.
As we approached the hour mark in the second practice session, only nine drivers had put in a timed lap around the Hungarian Hungaroring.
Valtteri Bottas was the first Mercedes driver to set a flying lap around the Hungrian track, on full wet tyres. While he took wider lines around the prolonged corners, like turn one, and lost the back end around the end of sector two and the chicane at turns six and seven. The Mercedes’ strongest aspect – downforce – saved the Fin from falling behind both Racing Point cars as he was able to occupy the second fastest position on the leaderboard with a lap time of: 1:40.736 (+0.272s behind Vettel).
Vettel looked set to break his own fastest lap of the session, on the intermediate tyres, as we neared the last 10 minutes of the FP2. However, as he entered sector three, his prancing horse lost grip at turn 11 which resulted in the German going off the track and having his time deleted by the stewards.
“Smells like something’s burning in the car, smells like a barbecue in the back of the car, I don’t know what’s happening”Gasly to Alpha Tauri after the power unit as the Frenchman reported it was producing a smell late on in FP2.
As two minutes remained for the rest of FP2, the remaining drivers tried to get out to set a timed lap. However; Ricciardo, Ocon, Lewis Hamilton (Mecedes), Nicholas Latifi and George Russell (Williams), Alexander Albon (Red Bull) and Kevin Magnussen (Haas) didn’t cross the line in time to set their only timed lap of the session.
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) – 1:40.464
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 1:40.736 (+0.272)
- Carlos Sainz (McLaren) – 1:41.784 (+1.320)