George Russell dominates the opening practice of Hungarian GP as Perez crashes

George Russell dominates the opening practice of Hungarian GP as Perez crashes

Mercedes driver George Russell established the record pace on the wet Hungaroring in the opening practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

In Hungary’s opening practice which was hampered by rain, Mercedes’ George Russell finished ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll. In a session that was delayed by red flag incidents and erratic weather, Russell posted a top time of 1:38.795 around a wet Hungaroring.

Drivers rushed to the track as soon as the lights turned green as rains were anticipated during the 60-minute session. Due to the wet weather, it took nearly 50 minutes for a good lap time to be recorded, yet it only took Sergio Perez four laps to crash and severely wreck his Red Bull.

The Mexican driver overused the broad kerbs at the exit as he came over the crest at Turn 4 and lost control of his car.  The session was briefly stopped to clear the track.

However, rain began to fall as the session resumed. Few drivers chose to take an installation lap considering the intensity of the rain was quite low, as the majority of drivers remained in their garages.

With just over 25 minutes to go, drivers started to leave the pits as the rain began to subside.

Drivers made the decision to take the track for a few laps on the wet surface after a harder downpour. There was a considerable gap in the pace during the track action as it was generally believed that there wasn’t much to learn from running in the rain.

The winner of the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, Esteban Ocon, eventually attempted to get by Inters. The Alpine driver was then followed by Carlos Sainz of Ferrari and Alex Albon of Williams, but their efforts were only successful for one lap.

There was still no time on the board with 20 minutes remaining on the clock while everyone else swiftly sought out dry ground after doing the same.

Bottas made up for that oversight by finally finishing a full lap, but the Williams pair of Sargeant and Albon overhauled the Finn.

However, the action was once more halted after Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz lost control at Turn 3. Despite the fact that his car sustained no significant damage, the Race Direction was forced to red flag the session once more since he was unable to get his SF23 moving.

Sainz’s Ferrari suffered slight endplate damage to its front wing, but was nevertheless able to make its way back to the Ferrari garage thanks to marshals who forced the car back onto the track.

With around ten minutes left in the practice, the grid as a whole started to move around the circuit.

Nico Hulkenberg briefly held the top spot before Leclerc and Alonso traded fastest wet laps. Although it initially appeared that Alonso would win out, Piastri and then Russell took the lead to end a largely pointless first session.

However, neither Lewis Hamilton, the eight-time winner of the Hungarian Grand Prix, nor reigning world champion Max Verstappen completed a timed lap after their installation laps.

2023 Hungarian Grand Prix FP1 Results

163George RussellMercedes1:38.79513
281Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes1:39.154+0.359s14
318Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:40.013+1.218s10
44Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:40.277+1.482s13
514Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:40.687+1.892s8
677Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:41.032+2.237s14
716Charles LeclercFerrari1:41.142+2.347s11
824Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:41.363+2.568s9
92Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:41.416+2.621s15
1027Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:42.706+3.911s12
1120Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:42.906+4.111s14
1222Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:45.575+6.780s7
1323Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:47.403+8.608s10
143Daniel RicciardoAlphatauri Honda Rbpt7
1555Carlos SainzFerrari6
1611Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt2
1731Esteban OconAlpine Renault4
1810Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault3
191Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt4
2044Lewis HamiltonMercedes3

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