Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 in opening Hungary F1 practice

Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes 1-2 ahead of the two Racing Point Formula 1 cars in the opening practice session of the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 in opening Hungary F1 practice

Red Bull, Mercedes' closest rival in the opening races of the season, had a low key start to the weekend with P8 and P13 for Max Verstappen and Alex Albon, while Ferrari again finished well adrift of the practice pacesetters.

Under cloudy skies at the Hungaroring, Verstappen set the pace in the initial with a 1m19.536s - sparking his way around the track on the hard tyres.

The Red Bull driver lowered the P1 benchmark on subsequent laps in the opening 20 minutes of the 90-minute session before the Mercedes cars went on the soft tyres and set about sealing the two positions, which they held to the end.

First, Valtteri Bottas took first place with a 1m17.765s before Hamilton used his own red-walled rubber to go quicker and they swapped positions again before Hamilton solidified first place with a 1m16.126s just before the half-hour mark.

Mercedes instructed its cars to stay out and collect data on the soft tyres due to a threat of rain - with a few spots falling during the very early laps - which they did, with a massive double lock-up for Hamilton at the first corner the only notable interruption.

At the 50-minute mark, Hamilton and Bottas switched to the hard and medium tyres respectively, and both drivers improved their best times at the head of the field.

Bottas retook first place with a 1m16.089s on his yellow-walled tyres, but a few minutes later Hamilton moved back to the top with 1m16.003s - an ominously fast time on Pirelli's hardest rubber.

Sergio Perez, who also had a big lock up at Turn 1 where he ran close the barriers deep in the run-off, led his team-mate Lance Stroll with third place.

That was 0.527s slower than Hamilton's leading time, with the second Racing Point driver a further 0.437s back in fourth.

Daniel Ricciardo, who ran with a large aerodynamic measuring device fitted to his RS20 during the early installation laps, finished fifth for Renault - ahead of the two Ferrari cars.

Sebastian Vettel was the lead driver for the Scuderia on a 1m17.238s, with Charles Leclerc 0.166s behind his team-mate.

The Ferrari cars are running in the same specification as last weekend's Styrian GP, where they failed to finish after Leclerc triggered a clash between the team-mates on the race's opening lap, as the team brought the full update package it had been expected to introduce in Hungary forward by one event.

Verstappen finished FP1 in eighth place - sliding on his own soft tyre effort and ending up 1.432s slower than the leading Mercedes time.

Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon rounded out the top 10 for McLaren and Renault.

Albon finished 13th in the second Red Bull after having his initial soft tyre lap deleted for running wide at Turn 11, but he was able set a faster time, albeit one that was 1.724s adrift of Hamilton's time.

Robert Kubica finished P19 on his FP1 outing for Alfa Romeo in place of Kimi Raikkonen after spinning at Turn 1 on an out-lap on hard tyres early in the session.

Pierre Gasly took no part in FP1 as AlphaTauri was forced to carry out an investigation on his engine after spotting an anomaly in its data.

Hungary free practice 1 results

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m16.003s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.086s
3 Sergio Perez Racing Point/Mercedes 0.527s
4 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 0.964s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1.197s
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1.235s
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1.401s
8 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1.432s
9 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1.520s
10 Esteban Ocon Renault 1.612s
11 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 1.672s
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1.710s
13 Alexander Albon Red Bull/Honda 1.724s
14 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1.887s
15 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1.966s
16 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri/Honda 2.289s
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 2.422s
18 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 2.571s
19 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 3.147s

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