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'Bruised' Verstappen shakes off Silverstone smash with Hungarian practice tonic

'Bruised' Verstappen shakes off Silverstone smash with Hungarian practice tonic

F1 News

'Bruised' Verstappen shakes off Silverstone smash with Hungarian practice tonic

'Bruised' Verstappen shakes off Silverstone smash with Hungarian practice tonic

Max Verstappen shook off his Silverstone shunt by setting the fastest time in opening practice for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

After all the debate over the past 12 days since the incident with Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix, it was back to business for Verstappen, who emerged with bruises from his 150mph smash at Copse corner.

The tight, twisty nature of the Hungaroring is expected to suit the RB16B more than the W12, and the early indication after the opening hour of practice is that appears to be the case.

The temperatures were scorching, hitting 31 degrees centigrade, and with the track surface soaring to a high of 58, again playing more to the strengths of Red Bull than Mercedes.

On the soft tyres, Verstappen set a best lap of one minute 17.555secs, finishing just 0.061s ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, with Hamilton a further tenth of a second off the pace.

That, though, will be a welcome sign for Hamilton who heads into the final race ahead of the summer break eight points adrift of Verstappen in the drivers' standings.

Ferrari duo Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, who are both expected to perform well at this track, finished fourth and seventh on the timesheet, with the Spaniard 0.560s behind Verstappen, with the Monégasque a further three-tenths of a second down.

Sandwiched in between the pair were AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso in his Alpine, which proved to be a fine recovery for the two-time champion.

The day after celebrating his 40th birthday, Alonso endured a heavy spin early in the session out of the high-speed turn four left-hander, rattling his Alpine over a kerb and losing a piece of bodywork, as well as ruining a set of hard tyres.

The same corner accounted for Yuki Tsunoda, who brought out the red flags with 19 minutes remaining as he lost the rear of his AlphaTauri on entry.

It resulted in the Japanese driver, who had already spun at the sharp turn nine right-hander earlier in the session, sliding across the expansive run-off area and hitting a tyre barrier with the rear wing. Tsunoda eventually finished 12th quickest.

Completing the top 10 behind Leclerc were Red Bull's Sergio Perez, nine-tenths of a second off the pace, with the Mexican followed by McLaren's Lando Norris and Lance Stroll in his Aston Martin.

Either side of Tsunoda were Alpine's Esteban Ocon and Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel, the latter 1.434s adrift, with McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo a further three-tenths back.

Williams duo George Russell and Nicholas Latifi were both over two seconds down followed by Haas' Mick Schumacher, with Alfa Romeo reserve Robert Kubica - in for Kimi Raikkonen - 18th.

Nikita Mazepin finished 3.437s adrift in 19th, with Antonio Giovinazzi bringing up the rear due to issues with his Alfa Romeo that saw him complete just five laps.

Hungarian Grand Prix first practice results

1. Max Verstappen [Red Bull Racing] 1:17.555

2. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes] +0.061s

3. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes] +0.167s

4. Carlos Sainz [Ferrari] +0.560s

5. Pierre Gasly [AlphaTauri] +0.626s

6. Fernando Alonso [Alpine] +0.830s

7. Charles Leclerc [Ferrari] +0.836s

8. Sergio Perez [Red Bull] +0.911s

9. Lando Norris [McLaren] +1.094s

10. Lance Stroll [Aston Martin] +1.200s

11. Esteban Ocon [Alpine] +1.210s

12. Yuki Tsunoda [AlphaTauri] +1.215s

13. Sebastian Vettel [Aston Martin] +1.434s

14. Daniel Ricciardo [McLaren] +1.710s

15. George Russell [Williams] +2.169s

16. Nicholas Latifi [Williams] +2.269s

17. Mick Schumacher [Haas] +2.828s

18. Robert Kubica [Alfa Romeo] +3.084s

19. Nikita Mazepin [Haas] +3.437s

20. Antonio Giovinazzi [Alfa Romeo] +4.334s

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