Max Verstappen topped FP1 but just 0.061 seconds from Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.

It was time for Formula 1 to begin the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. The grand battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton continued after it went ugly in Silverstone. Red Bull appealed the penalty, but it was ultimately dismissed.

Verstappen’s engine from the Silverstone incident would be tested in the first practice session, to see if it was still usable. Away from the front, there was interest centered around the battle between Ferrari and McLaren and who would draw first blood this weekend.

So the session began then, Alfa Romeo leading out a stream of drivers as the light went green at the end of the pit lane. Verstappen went out, and set the fastest time, so the engine was seemingly ok.

Charles Leclerc and Lance Stroll were getting up close and personal only 10 minutes into the session, but there was no contact between the two. Fernando Alonso ended up backward at very high speed through turn 4, losing a bit of bodywork but avoiding the wall.

Yuki Tsunoda was the next to come undone, the Japanese driver spinning at turn 9, ruining his tires. By the halfway mark of the session, it was Valtteri Bottas on top by 0.3sec from teammate Hamilton. Soft tire runs were beginning to happen, though the track was green and the times were probably a fair way off what would actually happen in qualifying.

Then a red flag, Tsunoda spun again, and this time did it properly in the tire barriers. Going in rear-end first, he is lucky it’s probably a Friday gearbox in his car. When the session went green again, it was soft tire run time, and every driver was going slowly to conserve the soft compound.

Verstappen went fastest with less than 10 minutes remaining, and he kept it for the rest of the session. Second and third were the Mercedes, Bottas leading Hamilton, and Sainz in fourth.

The full top 10 are as follows:

PositionDriverTeam+sec
1M. VerstappenRed Bull1.17.555
2V. BottasMercedes+0.61
3L. HamiltonMercedes+0.167
4C. SainzFerrari+0.560
5P. GaslyAlphaTauri+0.626
6F. AlonsoAlpine+0.830
7C. LeclercFerrari+0.836
8S. PerezRed Bull+0.911
9L. NorrisMcLaren+1.094
10L. StrollAston Martin+1.200

Journalist, writing various articles for ASN. MotoGP specialist and ASN's resident motorsports history nerd. Can generally be found screaming at stupid strategy choices while watching the tv.