F1 – Sainz quickest in opening practice for Hungarian Grand Prix
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz topped the timesheet in opening practice for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix, beating Drivers’ World Championship leader Max Verstappen by just over a tenth of a second. Charles Leclerc was third, almost three tenths of a second off the pace of his Ferrari team-mate.
Verstappen set the early pace in the session, with the winner of last weekend’s French Grand Prix posting a time of 1:21.235 in the opening minutes to head Sainz as McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo slotted into third place, on medium tyres. Leclerc lay fourth , 0.482s down on Verstappen, also on soft tyres.
Just before the 10-minute mark Sainz moved into top spot with a lap of 1:20.69, which putting him 0.539s up on Verstappen, but two minutes later Leclerc jumped to the top of the leaderboard when he crossed the line in 1:20.225. Verstappen improved to 1:20.243s to leave the gap at just 0.018s.
After making an installation run at the start of the session, Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Pérez retreated to the pit lane and didn’t emerge until just before the quarter hour mark. And on soft tyres, the Mexican driver and as Sainz reclaimed top spot with a lap of 1:20.184, 0.041s ahead of Leclerc, Perez jumped to fifth place with his first timed run.
At the top of the table the times continued to fall and the top spot changed hands frequently. Leclerc took back P1 , becoming the first man to duck under the 1m20s barrier with a lap of 1:19.863 and again Verstappen improved but just fell short thanks to a lap of 1:19.872, just nine thousandths off the Monegasque driver.
However, just past the 20-minute mark Sainz moved back to first place on a 1:19.671s, while Pérez improved to fourth place behind team-mate Verstappen.
Sainz’s stay in P1 was brief, however, and two minutes after he claimed top spot it was wrestled away from him by Leclerc who set a lap of 1m19.426s.
Just after the halfway point, the Ferrari/Red Bull grip on the top four spots was broken and it was Mercedes’ George Russell who muscled in on the action. The Briton posted a lap of 1:19.606 to split Leclerc and Hamilton, despite reporting that he had bottomed out badly during the tour.
With a little under 20 minutes left on the clock Sainz racked up a purple middle sector to once again take top spot with a lap of 1:19.262. That pushed Russell back to third, with Verstappen fourth ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the second Mercedes.
Verstappen responded, however, and he posted a good lap of 1m18.880 to eclipse Sainz by almost four tenths of a second.
With 12 minutes remaining Sainz went for a final flyer and this time the Spaniard decisively claimed P1 with a lap of 1:18.750 to leave Verstappen 0.130 adrift at the flag, with Leclerc third.
With just over five minutes remaining McLaren’s Lando Norris moved into fourth ahead of Russell, while Pérez had to settle for sixth place. Hamilton ended the session in P7 ahead of Ricciardo and the Alpine cars of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.
2022 FIA Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:18.750 26 200.274
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:18.880 0.130 24 199.944
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:19.039 0.289 26 199.541
4 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:19.299 0.549 21 198.887
5 George Russell Mercedes 1:19.606 0.856 28 198.120
6 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1:19.622 0.872 24 198.080
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:19.710 0.960 25 197.862
8 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:19.841 1.091 28 197.537
9 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:20.348 1.598 30 196.291
10 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:20.377 1.627 27 196.220
11 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:20.383 1.633 26 196.205
12 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:20.414 1.664 25 196.130
13 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:20.456 1.706 28 196.027
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:20.695 1.945 27 195.447
15 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:20.810 2.060 23 195.168
16 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1:20.834 2.084 28 195.110
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:20.921 2.171 24 194.901
18 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:21.027 2.277 25 194.646
19 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:21.179 2.429 20 194.281
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:21.413 2.663 27 193.723