A mixed day for Lewis Hamilton on Friday at the Hungarian Grand Prix. After a slow start to the season he has a chance of going into the summer break top of the championship table. All he needs to do is finish ahead of Nico Rosberg this weekend.
He certainly showed signs of that in the first practice session finishing 0.237 seconds ahead of Rosberg and 1.644 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel. McLaren’s recent improvement continued with Alonso seventh and Button eighth. They’ll need to avoid spinning as they did in this practice session if they want to transfer good practice results into top ten races finishes.
Second practice went the way of Nico Rosberg but it was Lewis Hamilton making the headlines. He lost control of his Mercedes at Turn 11 sliding into the barriers. That was his fourth lap but also his last in the session as he wasn’t able to go out again. That left him down in fifth place.
Rosberg, fresh from signing his new Mercedes contract was fastest, 0.59 seconds ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull. A further 0.327 seconds back was Sebastian Vettel with Max Verstappen in fourth.
It was another promising session for McLaren with a repeat of the first practice result. Alonso in seventh just 0.059 seconds ahead of Jenson Button. Perhaps a top ten finish in the actual race might be on the cards this weekend.
Again Mercedes have been dominant on the first day of practice which bodes well for them for Sunday’s race. Hamilton will have to be more careful though failing to get round one of the most demanding corners on the track where he has won four times in the past.
Speaking after second practice, Hamilton said, “They have those new white kerbs. I just put my rear wheel just over the white line and touched it and they are very slippery. I don’t know why they have put them there – it was perfectly fine before.” He was happy with the pace of his Mercedes.